Letters Bad medicine: melanoma

Author’s reply to Hayes and Broggio

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6130 (Published 27 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6130
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner1
  1. 1Glasgow, UK
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

I referenced my facts from national data sources,1 but like all “facts” they are debatable and often contradictory.2 3 The key issue, however, is whether the observed increased incidence of melanoma is real or an overdiagnosis artefact.

Overdiagnosis occurs when “cancers” that would never progress to overt disease are removed. This can reflect variation in histological practice. Doctors …

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