Health News Review
  • Jul 29 2013

    Cautions on cancer screening, overdiagnosis and overtreatment

    …;In March 2012, the National Cancer Institute convened a meeting to evaluate the problem of “overdiagnosis,” which occurs when tumors are detected that, if left unattended, would not become clinically apparent or cause death. Overdiagnosis, if not recognized, generally leads to overtreatment. This Viewpoint summarizes the recommendations from a working group formed to develop a strategy to improve the current approach to cancer screening and prev…

  • Jun 1 2012

    BMJ feature – Preventing Overdiagnosis: how to stop harming the healthy

    “Preventing overdiagnosis: how to stop harming the healthy,” is a feature in this week’s BMJ by Ray Moynihan, Jenny Doust and David Henry. I won’t try to recapture the entire piece in this blog because you should read it yourself. But here are section headings: Screening detected overdiagnosis Increasingly sensitive tests Incidentalomas Excessively widened definitions (of disease) Examples of overdiagnosis Asthma—Can…

  • Nov 23 2012

    Roundup of some reactions to NEJM mammography overdiagnosis analysis

    …f 50 Option 3: Do Not Recommend Screening Mammography Dr. Gil Welch, one of the authors of the “Effect of Three Decades…” analysis, wrote a New York Times opinion piece, “Cancer Survivor or Victim of Overdiagnosis?” in which he summarized: “So here is what we now know: the mortality benefit of mammography is much smaller, and the harm of overdiagnosis much larger, than has been previously recognized. But to b…

  • Jan 22 2013

    UK citizen’s jury advises on communication about the benefits and harms of breast screening

    …f 50 and 70 to undergo a mammogram every three years. The current invitation letters and accompanying leaflets have been heavily criticised for failing to mention potential harms of breast screening, in particular the risk of overdiagnosis and overtreatment ( In response to this criticism, Sir Michael Richards, National Cancer Director for the NHS, asked eminent epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot to chair an…

  • Apr 23 2010

    Overdiagnosis in cancer & role of shared decision-making

    Gil Welch and Bill Black of Dartmouth address cancer overdiagnosis in a new review article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Excerpt from the abstract: “We estimated the magnitude of overdiagnosis from randomized trials: about 25% of mammographically detected breast cancers, 50% of chest x-ray and/or sputum-detected lung cancers, and 60% of prostate-specific antigen-detected prostate cancers. We also review data from observ…

  • Apr 20 2012

    2 pieces on overdiagnosis – including self-diagnosis

    I’m in my element, among 600 or so attendees at the Association of Health Care Journalists’ annual conference in Atlanta.  But, as a result, I only have time today to point you to a couple of interesting pieces: A Reuters special report on how an aggressive campaign for esophageal cancer screening feeds overdiagnosis debate. On the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, “How WebMD convinces us we’re dying.” …

  • Jul 26 2010

    New data raising concerns over overdiagnosis & overtreatment of prostate cancer

    … the fact that PSA level, the current biomarker, is not a sufficient basis for treatment decisions. Without the ability to distinguish indolent from aggressive cancers, lowering the biopsy threshold might increase the risk of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Here’s a Reuters summary of the article. WebMD’s is here. Katie Hobson on the WSJ Health Blog offered good perspective. …

  • Jan 19 2012

    The Naked Doctor: profiling overdiagnosis and overtreatment

    We’ve long been admirers of the Croakey blog, run by Melissa Sweet in Australia. Now Croakey has a new project called The Naked Doctor. The site says: Naked Doctor aims to encourage discussion and awareness of the opportunities to do more for health by doing less. It is a compilation of articles, books and other works that highlight overdiagnosis and overtreatment. It is a project of Dr Justin Coleman, a GP who works in Aboriginal and Torr…

  • Feb 20 2015

    CBS promotes “essential/critical” screening tests but never mentions over-diagnosis

    …sease in otherwise healthy people), if the story doesn’t mention the concept of “overdiagnosis” either directly or indirectly, then that story has a fatal flaw.   Why?  Because all screening tests involve some degree of overdiagnosis and this means people will be harmed. Sadly this pair of CBS stories conspicuously never broaches the subject of overdiagnosis (a topic so vital that entire conferences are now dedicated to examine ways to prev…

  • Oct 1 2014

    My article kicks off 5th Annual Health Literacy Month Blog Series

    For the third consecutive year, I’ve contributed to the Health Literacy Month Blog Series.  Today, my article, “Media Messages about Screenings and their Role in Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment,” kicks off the 5th annual month-long blog series. Below is a copy of what I wrote: ——————————— Disclaimer: the following is not an anti-screening message. It is, however,…

Story Review Search


There are multiple ways to search our reviews. You may search by keyword, news source or review rating.

  • Type in the keyword or news source the search by those criteria.
  • Type 0 - 5 star to search by review rating. ie. 3 star or 1 star

Blog Search


News Organizations’ Overall Grades