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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Too much screening has misled us about real cancer risk factors

The best-known downside of cancer screening, such as PSA tests for prostate cancer and mammograms for breast cancer, is that they often flag cancers that pose no risk, leading to over-diagnosis and unnecessary, even harmful, treatment. But widespread screening for "scrutiny-dependent" cancers - those for which the harder you look the more you find, and the more of what you find is harmless - causes another problem, two leading cancer experts argue in a paper published on Monday: increasing the apparent incidence of some cancers. That in turn is misleading doctors and the public about what increases people's risk of developing cancers - or at least the types of cancer that matter.

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