You'll hardly believe these 6 nerdy ideas! aka Buzzfeed's 'Misconceptions about Screening'

Yes, it's true, even the popular 'internet news media company' Buzzfeed is hosting an article highlighting the issues that arise with the current practice of disease screening. Known for horribly-titled and irrelevant news-utainment, with headlines like "The 21 Erotic Moments From The First Time You’re In A Bulk Barn," the site does have over 200 million viewers monthly. They must be doing something right, and hopefully this Buzzfeed Community post, Misconceptions about Screening, will be a viral hit, just like "These American Tourists Were Delightfully Puzzled By Awesome Canadian Road Signs."

In the post, Sense about Science, a UK-based organization that 'equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion,' wrote:

There’s a huge amount of discussion about screening programmes from celebrities, campaigners and emotive media case studies. Unfortunately, a lot of this discussion is filled with misconceptions, misinformation and unrealistic expectations of what screening programmes are and what they can deliver. This has real lasting implications for patients and healthcare professionals. This needs to stop.

They go on to review 6 key issues with broad-based screening campaigns, highlighting the grey areas in screening test results, the costs and harms of these tests, the different role they play as compared with diagnostic tests for symptomatic individuals, and the idea that screening must be employed only for the right population and the right diseases.

One of the Making Sense of Science infographics on the topic of screening.

One of the Making Sense of Science infographics on the topic of screening.


Much of the culture of screening has been created by the medical industry and by health care practitioners, but the celebrity 'experts' have not helped. This article reminds Buzzfeed readers, many of whom follow celebrity news, to think twice about listening to this unscreened advice.

Read Making Sense of Science's 'MAKING SENSE OF SCREENING: A guide to weighing up the benefits and harms.' Other similar tools can be found in the health care provider section, the patient section, and the 'hands-on' section (mostly tools for shared decision-making) on this site.