Overdiagnosis in Colorectal Cancer Screening?
Overdiagnosis is recognized as a major harm of mammography and prostate cancer screening – what about colorectal cancer screening?
Colorectal cancer screening is currently implemented in many countries, but surprisingly, there is a lack of knowledge about overdiagnosis in colorectal cancer screening. Overdiagnosis in colorectal cancer screening is not mentioned in patient information or guidelines, and not addressed in scientific or public debate.
Proposes future framework
Mette Kalager and colleagues from the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital address this emerging topic together with other leaders in screening from the United States, the Netherlands, and Poland in a new paper in Gastroenterology, the leading journal of the field.
The paper Overdiagnosis in Colorectal Cancer Screening: Time to Acknowledge a Blind Spot outlines a semantic, conceptual and clinical framework for overdiagnosis in CRC screening. The authors argue that there indeed is overdiagnosis of polyps in colorectal cancer screening. This may be related to relatively little harm for the patient, but it occurs in large numbers. The authors continue to explain why overdiagnosis for cancer may occur also in colorectal cancer screening, even though screening reduces cancer incidence. The paper is the first to address this important topic, and it is expected to open the field for research.
New conceptual framework for overdiagnosis in colorectal cancer screening