Intended for healthcare professionals


Don’t call low risk lesions cancer, experts say

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 02 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4909
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Calling low risk lesions something other than cancer would be one element of a new approach to cancer screening proposed by a working group convened by the US National Cancer Institute to look into the problem of cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

The group’s findings are outlined in a viewpoint published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Laura Esserman, of the University of California, San Francisco, was the article’s lead author.1

Esserman and her coauthors noted that over the past 30 years, the goal of cancer screening had been to reduce the rate of cancer deaths by diagnosing the disease early. However, …

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