Although pathologists are likely to agree when evaluating skin biopsies that are benign or highly malignant, they often disagree when lesions fall into intermediate categories, new research finds. Pathologists’ diagnostic interpretations of melanoma in situ and early stage invasive melanoma – categories that are not well characterized – were neither reproducible nor accurate. And this may be creating the potential for both overdiagnosis and underdiagnosis of melanoma, according to the new study with two OHSU … Read More
Posts Tagged ‘overdiagnosis’
Nearly a century ago, a Greek immigrant physician in New York City began refining microscopy techniques for examining cells gently scraped from the female reproductive tract. The results were profound. George Papanicolaou’s Pap smear test gave the world a minimally invasive means to screen healthy women to reveal abnormally growing cervical cells that could be removed before any turned cancerous. And with it came the realization that cancer truly might be defeated by early detection.1
Pathologists’ tendency to overinterpret breast biopsies may be contributing to the problem of breast cancer overdiagnosis.
Sadik Esener, Ph.D., the engineer tapped to lead a major new cancer early detection program at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Medical science has come up with only a few ways to detect incipient cancers in healthy people. None of them can distinguish the aggressive, life-threatening cases from those that are unlikely to become lethal. Researchers have spent decades, for instance, trying to develop a screening test for ovarian cancer. Most women with this … Read More
With the advent of mass screening by Pap smear, cervical cancer incidence and death rates declined by more than 60 percent in the U.S. between 1955 and 1992. It was a triumphant demonstration of the value of early detection. But the model has never worked so well for other common cancers. Mammography, for example, fails to detect one in four tumors in younger women while also delivering many false-positive results. Less than 5 percent of positive … Read More