Consumer Reports has been a trusted source for product reviews for generations of Americans. Published by the non-profit Consumers Union, the magazine independently purchases the products it reviews and performs extensive real-world tests that have proven mighty popular for everything from cars to refrigerators to lawnmowers.
Now, as yet another reminder of the new age of medicine we live in, Consumer Reports is getting into the business of reviewing cancer tests, helping to separate those that are truly valuable and effective from those that do little more than maintain the bottom line of the companies that sell them.
From Consumer Reports:
“The marketing message that early detection saves lives is simple and compelling,” says Laura Nikolaides, M.S., director of research and quality-care programs at the National Breast Cancer Coalition. “But the reality as we understand it today is much more nuanced. The problem is how to get that more complex message to the public when it’s so different than what they’ve come to believe.”
For this investigation, we pored over reams of research, consulted medical experts, surveyed more than 10,000 readers, and talked with patients. We found that too many people are getting tests they don’t need or understand, and too few are getting those that could save their lives. Many patients, and even some doctors, can be confused by cancer screening.
Consumer Reports: The cancer tests you need—and those you don’t