— National Cancer Inst (@theNCI) June 30, 2017
Q: What is cancer overdiagnosis?
A: Cancer overdiagnosis is the detection of asymptomatic cancers, often through screening efforts, which are either non-growing, or so slow-growing that they never would have caused medical problems for the patient in the patient’s lifespan. Some of the detected tumors may even resolve spontaneously without treatment. They therefore represent an important cause of overtreatment, which can involve serious harms and toxicities such as deaths from surgery, major organ deformation or loss, and second cancers from radiation or chemotherapy.