Read about the recent Overdiagnosis Conference at: http://www.preventingoverdiagnosis.net
‘Overdiagnosis happens when people get a diagnosis they don’t need. It can happen when people without symptoms are diagnosed and then treated for a disease that won’t actually cause them any symptoms, and it can happen for people whose symptoms or life experiences are given a diagnostic label which brings them more harm than good.
Although hard to believe, there’s growing scientific evidence suggesting many people are overdiagnosed across a lot of different conditions, including asthma, breast cancer and high blood pressure, and you can read more in the books and articles on our readings page.
One common way overdiagnosis can happen is when healthy people who attend screening programs or receive tests during check-ups are diagnosed and subsequently treated for the early form of a disease which would never in fact have harmed them. With breast cancer screening for example, a recent systematic review of studies published in the British Medical Journal suggests that up to one in three of the cancers detected via screening may be overdiagnosed. There are similar concerns with overdiagnosis of prostate, thyroid and kidney cancers.’
‘Overdiagnosis harms people world-wide and exacerbates under-treatment by wasting much needed resources. (1) Over 320 scientists, clinicians, policy-makers and consumer advocates from almost 30 countries across 6 continents have just attended the first scientific conference on preventing overdiagnosis, and related problems of overmedicalization, overdetection, diagnosis creep and overtreatment. (2) The conference was organized by an alliance of one of the world’s most respected medical journals, BMJ and the United States’ most trusted consumer organisation, Consumer Reports, The Dartmouth Institute and Australia’s Bond University…’ from the Global Conference statement ‘Preventing Overdiagnosis’.