Health News Review
  • Oct 7 2011

    Thoughtful analysis of the USPSTF and prostate cancer screening

    …reening in the control group. The validity of the negative PLCO results is uncertain. The ERSPC study was more credible, but showed only a small absolute survival benefit. This benefit must be balanced against the harms of overdiagnosis–finding cancers that would never cause clinical problems during a man’s lifetime–and the resulting overtreatment, which can lead to urinary, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. Unfortunately, we c…

  • Oct 30 2012

    Were AP and AFP reporting on the same Lancet mammography paper?

    … have been misleading women for the past two decades by giving too rosy a picture of the benefits,” said Karsten Jorgensen, a researcher at the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen who has previously published papers on overdiagnosis. “It’s important they have at least acknowledged screening causes substantial harms,” he said, adding that countries should now re-evaluate their own programs. In the United States, a governme…

  • Oct 3 2012

    9-part series on over-diagnosis

    Ray Moynihan, a terrific health care journalist who is now pursuing his PhD on overdiagnosis and working as a Senior Research Fellow at Bond University in Australia, kicks off the first of a nine-part series, “Over-diagnosis Epidemic” on TheConversation.edu.au website. The first part is an introduction, “Preventing over-diagnosis:  how to stop harming the healthy.” Other colleagues author the subsequent parts in the serie…

  • Jul 11 2014

    One physician’s story: An Egregious Example of Ordering Unnecessary Tests

    …omment further, as I feel incapable of moderating my language. At last check, well more than 100 comments were left on the website in response to the article. I frequently write about the poor public dialogue about screening, overdiagnosis and overtreatment.  This example brings home the point about why that’s important. —————– Tweet Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/garyschwitzer https://twitte…

  • Dec 3 2012

    Critic calls American Psychiatric Assoc. approval of DSM-V “a sad day for psychiatry”

    … stigma this will cause. 8) DSM 5 has created a slippery slope by introducing the concept of Behavioral Addictions that eventually can spread to make a mental disorder of everything we like to do a lot. Watch out for careless overdiagnosis of internet and sex addiction and the development of lucrative treatment programs to exploit these new markets. 9) DSM 5 obscures the already fuzzy boundary been Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the worries of …

  • Feb 6 2013

    Five year survival rates can mislead – message to medical educators, medical journals, journalists and the public

    … lives?  For two reasons. The first is lead time bias. Earlier detection implies that the time of diagnosis is earlier; this alone leads to higher survival at five years evenwhen patients do not live any longer. The second is overdiagnosis. Screening detects abnormalities that meet the pathological definition of cancer but that will never progress to cause symptoms or death (non-progressive or slow growing cancers). The higher the number of overd…

  • Sep 9 2013

    When the word “cancer” corrupts thought and action. Labeling hurts. The words matter.

    …ancer in the United States, 1973-2002,” he and a co-author concluded that the increase was not a jump in the true occurrence of thyroid cancer, but rather, finding earlier abnormalities that might turn out to be benign. Overdiagnosis.  Overtreatment.  Impact on treatment decisions.  Yes, the wording matters. ——————– Tweet Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/garyschwitzer https://twitter.com/…

  • Oct 17 2013

    Omega-3 fatty acids & prostate cancer: study and stories off-base

    …d.  First of all, the absolute overall risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer was less than 5%.  Most men in the study were diagnosed based on an abnormal PSA test result, which is known to markedly increase the risk of overdiagnosis of prostate cancer–that is, finding cancers that would never cause harm during a man’s lifetime.  Overall, only 156 (18.7%) of cancers were high-grade (potentially aggressive). Furthermore, there were jus…

  • Feb 4 2014

    My weekly fix from Richard Lehman’s journal review blog

    Jut a few gems from the February 3 edition: “Oh great. Another phase 2 study of a pricey monoclonal antibody to address the “epidemic of osteoporosis,” i.e. a pharma-driven epidemic of overdiagnosis in older women. With a nice surrogate end point: bone mineral density, which bears an oblique relationship to fracture risk. And, in a market crowded with competing cheap agents, a placebo comparator.” “The editor of the NEJM, Jeff…

  • Jun 25 2014

    Which journalists reported an extra dimension on the 3-D mammography story?

    … Policy and Clinical Practice. “It’s about reducing breast cancer deaths. We don’t know whether this new technology finds more cancers destined to kill people.” … “There’s a debate about the harms of screening and overdiagnosis of breast cancers from mammograms and to me, this doesn’t resolve that,” said Dr. Etta Pisano, a breast imaging radiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina who wrote an editorial that accompanied th…




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