OCT 06, 2017 05:57 AM PDT

Is Breast Cancer Overtreated and Overdiagnosed?


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; however, a recent study shows that many women are not aware of the issue of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast cancer. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota surveyed a representative sample of 429 women in the United States, all of whom had regular mammograms and were between the ages of 35 to 55. Only 16.5% were aware of the dangers of overdiagnosis, and only 18% were aware that overtreatment of breast cancer is also an issue.

What exactly is overdiagnosis? Is that even possible? Either a patient has breast cancer or they don't, right? Not exactly. Some cancers are so slow growing that there is no chance they could cause a problem during a woman's lifespan. What about overtreatment? It's much the same. Some forms of breast cancer won't ever become an issue, but yet are still treated with radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, placing the patient at a much higher risk of death or complications than their cancer ever would have. Some experts point to routine screenings like mammograms as the reason for over treatment and over diagnosis. Mammograms are so standard and so strongly recommended that it's difficult for patients to believe that the downside could be the risks of unnecessary surgery and treatments that pose more danger than the disease itself.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 20, 2018
Videos
NOV 20, 2018
A Major Grant Aims to Improve our Understanding of Age-related Cognitive Decline
The American Heart Association has teamed up with the Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment to award the Salk Institute $19.2 million....
DEC 05, 2018
Videos
DEC 05, 2018
Male Contraceptive Gel is in Clinical Trials
Researchers have started a clinical trial involving 420 participants to test the efficacy of a male contraceptive gel....
DEC 09, 2018
Cardiology
DEC 09, 2018
Discharge After Angioplasty Safe, Reduces Cost
Of the 600,000 coronary angioplasties performed in the United States each year, about half of them are elective procedures. A person may opt to undergo the...
DEC 09, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 09, 2018
After a Slight Delay, SpaceX's Christmas Delivery Arrives at the ISS
Three days after the official launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a SpaceX Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday with a sp...
DEC 12, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 12, 2018
Tooth-rejuvenating Hydrogels as Alternative to Root Canal Therapy
When the tooth's pulp has a baterial infection, the sensitive nerve endings can become painfully inflamed. Root canal therapy, also known as the endodo...
DEC 17, 2018
Videos
DEC 17, 2018
The 15 year-old who is taking the world by a storm
Fifteen-year-old environmental justice activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden took the climate talks at the COP24 summit by the horns with her barely over thr...
Loading Comments...