Can Cancer Be Overdiagnosed?

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 7:40am
Bruce Campbell, MD

The patient returned to my clinic several years after her original thyroid cancer surgery. “The cancer blood test never went completely back to zero,” she told me. “We knew there was cancer in there somewhere. Finally, the new ultrasound machine found it! I guess it is time for more surgery!” 

I guess. In my patient’s situation, the latest high resolution diagnostic test had identified a slowly growing, small cancer. However, there are no studies to show that taking out these small cancers has any significant, long-term impact.

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