What will the drop in cancer screenings teach us about overdiagnosis and overtreatment? Elizabeth Tracey reports

January 10, 2022

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What will the drop in cancer screenings teach us about overdiagnosis and overtreatment? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Colonoscopies, prostate biopsies, CT for lung cancer screening, all down as a result of the pandemic. More worrisome is the drop in cancer diagnosis. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says over the next several months what may be revealed is how many times cancers that weren’t going to cause a problem are detected.

Nelson: There’s always this concern around the use of screening techniques and technologies of an overdiagnosis. Once we find them then we find ourselves having to chase after and manage them, so this is in a sense a real world experiment. As the pandemic waxes and wanes, paying attention to other healthcare issues, including wellness, or health preservation and promotion activities, remain important, and many of them create and improve resilience for Sars-CoV2 and Covid-19 kind of infections and syndromes.  :30

Nelson especially encourages those with a family history or other risk for cancer to resume routine screening activities. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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