Thus reads a headline in a WSJ report (subscription required). Melinda Beck is the author.
She writes, “Early detection has long been seen as a powerful weapon in the battle against cancer. But some experts now see it as double-edged sword.”
Further, “…some leading cancer experts say that zealous screening and advanced diagnostic tools…” That in turn can lead to treating harmless abnormalities which can involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery, all based on over diagnosis.
Says Laura Esserman, a breast-cancer surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, “…We’re not finding enough of the really lethal cancers, and we’re finding too many of the slow-moving ones that probably don’t need to be found.”
This is not news to regular readers of Cracking Health Costs, but simply affirmation of the maxim, Patients Beware.
Hat’s off to Malorye Branca for the tip on this story.
Cracking Health Costs, the book, an Amazon best seller, is available on Amazon at a deeply discounted price. Click here: Cracking Health Costs: How to Cut Your Company’s Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care by Tom Emerick and Al Lewis.
Tom Emerick is the President of Emerick Consulting and co-founder of EdisonHealth. In December 2012, Tom was listed in Forbes.com as one of 13 unsung heroes changing healthcare forever. In 2009, Tom was named by Healthspottr as one of the top 100 innovators in healthcare in the US for his work on medical ethics. Prior to consulting, Tom spent a number of years working for large corporations: Walmart Stores, Burger King, and British Petroleum.