Sunday, August 23, 2015

Is Overdiagnosis Harming Patients?

The article below mainly focuses on the detection of miniscule cancers by advanced technology.  Though there's no doubt that this may prevent many deaths, some cancers might not evolve into dangerous ones.  The patient would then need treatment for this cancer, and as many people are well aware, cancer treatments are no fun.  Patients and doctors need to be aware that not all health issues, like some cancers, are particularly problematic.  This would prevent the patient from becoming too anxious when there really is little need to be afraid.  Also, I think overdiagnosis remains an issue when trying to identify a mysterious disease.  Sometimes, I've heard, imagery reveals problems that have nothing to do with the patient's actual disease, therefore misleading doctors from arriving at the correct diagnosis.  In these cases, I think it's important to listen to the patient's symptoms and his or her story about how the illness progressed. This, in combination with certain tests, might better help physicians to pinpoint the exact cause, without having to do every test in the world to figure it out.  Perhaps physicians have discovered how to make diagnoses.  For the future, however, they need to know how to interpret these results, leading to the best treatment options for patients.  Any thoughts?  Feel free to comment.

From: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/08/20/tmi-in-medicine-the-problem-of-overdiagnosis

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