November 5, 2014


Study Points to Overdiagnosis of Thyroid Cancer (GINA KOLATA, NOV. 5, 2014, NY Times)

The soaring increase in thyroid cancers in South Korea is documented in a paper published on Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors report not only that the number of diagnoses escalated as screening became popular, but also that the newly detected cancers were almost all very tiny ones. These tiny cancers, called papillary thyroid cancers, are the most common kind and are the sort typically found with screening. They are known to be the least aggressive.

The epidemic was not caused by an environmental toxin or infectious agent, said Dr. H. Gilbert Welch of Dartmouth, an author of the paper. "An epidemic of real disease would be expected to produce a dramatic rise in the number of deaths from disease," he said. "Instead we see an epidemic of diagnosis, a dramatic rise in diagnosis and no change in death."

Posted by at November 5, 2014 7:45 PM

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