Mark Cuban Gives Controversial Medical Advice On Twitter

Mark Cuban caused a stir on his Twitter feed Wednesday by giving medical advice to his legions of followers. On the surface, the advice seems quite benign, but the negative reaction of medical professionals was swift. Cuban, financial investor, billionaire, and NBA team owner, said people should get regular blood tests if they can afford them, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms of illness.

Michael Hiltzik wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Cuban’s advice is problematic because excessive testing is dangerous. Too many tests lead to false positives, according to Hiltzik, which can result in unnecessary treatment. Furthermore, medical tests are numbers that require interpretation and often are done so in the context of other symptoms.

Seema Yasmin, writing in the Dallas Morning News, made a similar argument. She pointed to the high false positive rate for the PSA blood test used to diagnose prostate cancer. In a separate example, she said abnormal cells found in a pap smear may not become cancer but can resolve all on their own. Action taken on these positive tests might be more dangerous to the patient than the supposed illness that action is intended to treat.

Larry Husten wrote in Forbes that excessive test results could be a distraction for most doctors and would require additional validation anyway.

In the subsequent days, Cuban tweeted out articles that seemed to support his argument about regular testing. He also retweeted supportive comments from individuals.

Cuban also tweeted he learned several things from the controversy.

Yasmin, a medical doctor as well as a staff writer at the Dallas Morning News, said Cuban “should stick to dishing out financial advice and leave medical advice to the experts.”

[Mark Cuban image courtesy of Getty]

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