Overdiagnosis – Less is More

Let's say it in English
Carmen Lobitz
Overdiagnosis – Less is More
© Guschenkova/shutterstock

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“WHY THEN, CAN ONE DESIRE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?” William Shakespeare, As You Like It (1600 AD)

What is meant by overdiagnosis?

Overdiagnosis is the detection of harmless abnormalities in your body during a medical examination, which would not have caused any distress if you didn’t know they existed. Such detected abnormalities wouldn’t progress or would only progress very slowly and, thus, usually do not cause symptoms or harm during a person’s remaining lifetime. Most of those abnormalities resolve spontaneously, regardless of detection. In other words, this diagnosis is unnecessary and may even be deleterious.

What doesn’t overdiagnosis mean?

It is important to know that overdiagnosis is not a false-positive result or a misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis is a wrong diagnosis – for instance, if someone is diagnosed with cancer but actually only as a benign cyst. Overdiagnosis rather…

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