The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended against routine screening of healthy men for prostate cancer, on two grounds: The test doesn't save lives, on balance, and the treatments are usually worse than the disease. There are lessons in the task force report, both for individuals and for institutions that pay for screening of this sort. But chances are, writes Steve Chapman, those lessons will be ignored. In the American health care system, the pressures to do something, useful or not, are more powerful than the pressures to do nothing.
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