It’s very appealing to think that a noninvasive test could pick up the earliest signs of cancers or cardiovascular disease. Despite passionate testimonials of how whole-body CT scanning “saved my life,” we don’t know what the tumors found really would have done. We don’t know that these patients’ lives were improved, much less saved. In medicine today, intelligence doesn’t always prevail when it comes to clinicians ordering laboratory tests. How can we expect patients to do any better?

Alfredo A. Sadun and
Rebecca E. Sadun
Keck-USC School of Medicine
Los Angeles, Calif.

From the Nature Index

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