Media medicine actually gets it right for a change

Granted, it is the print media, rather than the bubble-headed TV doctors that I railed against a couple of days ago, but even so I had a hard time believing this article in the Washington Post when it was forwarded to me.

Compare:

Washington Post article
Part 1 and Part 2 of Early Detection of Cancer, by me.

It’s like a distilled version of what I wrote and excellent–dare I say it around here these days?–framing of a complex medical/scientific issue for a lay audience. Remember, as you read this, the term “overdiagnosis,” which I should have discussed. Also remember that I (and the authors of this article) are in no way saying that early diagnosis has gone too far. Rather, the point is that there is a balance that must be struck between decreasing mortality and morbidity from cancer due to early diagnosis and increasing overdiagnosis to the point where no lives are saved but many are subjected to unnecessary testing and surgery that do not help them.