Is health screening worth it?

Conclusion: More evidence that general health screening and PSA testing (without symptoms) are not a good use of company resources.

A series of in-depth analyses from the Harding Centre for Risk Literacy* shows no overall benefit from:

General health screening for those over 18 yrs – (doctor or other health professional taking a medical history, carrying out a physical examination and targeted medical investigations). Result: no difference in death rates form cancer, heart disease, stroke or death from all causes.

PSA blood testing for prostate cancer (without previous disease) does not reduce death rates from prostate cancer or any other cause. Screening, however resulted in large numbers of individuals having an unnecessary (painful & potentially dangerous) prostate biopsy and similar numbers receiving treatment for cancers which would not have led to death.

Other studies give disappointing results for mammography and stool tests for breast and bowel cancer.

*See www.harding-center.mpg.de/en