Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Over-diagnosis Makes You One Of The Worried Well

Medicalising normal life events combined with massive over-diagnosis turn people into huge numbers of "worried well", especially those who tend to take more responsibility for their own health.

The definition of overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of "disease" that will never cause symptoms or death during a patient’s lifetime. But medicine is now harming healthy people whilst at the same time producing enormous amounts of cash for doctors, alternative practitioners – they use questionable screens like electric fingertip tests, hair analysis, obscure blood tests from labs in the US and iris diagnosis - drug companies clinics touting screening for almost everything.

Expensive private "full body screening" is bad value for money and many of the tests - like Electro dermal testing for "vitality, immune and nervous system condition, internal organ energy and spinal balance"- banned in the USA - aren’t generally accepted, but we Brits spend almost £100 million a year looking for potential illnesses. These can sometimes detect future problems and lead to earlier treatment, but for the vast majority the downside risks far outweigh the promised benefits.
When patients without symptoms are told they have an actual or potential disease they may be stuck with a diagnostic label and life time medication that will do them far more harm than good. A prime example is the PSA test, (prostate-specific antigen screening), for prostate cancer. Many men with abnormal PSA tests, but no symptoms, have undergone biopsies which often leave them incontinent and impotent and the results have been negative. Experts mostly advise watchful waiting rather than surgery; now the official US advice is opposed to PSA tests. No doubt the profiteers will fight the Government.

Professor Michael Baum, a world expert in breast cancer treatment is certain that routine Mammograms should be scrapped. WHO says falling death rates from breast cancer come from better treatment not screening. Abnormalities have to be investigated when found then and even when negative, then cause problems with insurance, mortgages, loans and work promotions.

Big pharma can’t find new treatments for old diseases so they invent new conditions for their old pills and cook the books of research to make them sound safe and effective.
Latest culprits are "social anxiety disorder" treated with antidepressants; "female sexual dysfunction", a new use for Viagra ; "restless leg syndrome" and even "night eating syndrome" – more happy pills!

If you want to stay well eat a good diet, don’t smoke, drink in moderation, keep active and be happy; that’s my advice and it’s free. But that’s no good to the "get rich quick and hang the consequences", doctors, clinics, alternative practitioners and pill makers. They will have you over-diagnosed, over treated, overdosed and overcharged if you are daft enough to let them.


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