Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A fantastic piece in the Archives of Internal Medicine, about incidental findings (incidentalomas) picked up while testing for something else. This opens up a whole Pandoras box. A great line about a New York Times columnist who believed he had survived a brush with death following the finding of one such incidentaloma. No, the authors say, he survived a brush with overdiagnosis.
This is very important. The fundamental issue is that each patient will feel they have been saved and each becomes an advocate for more and more testing. However, there is no evidence that many of these findings, even if malignant, will ever pose a threat to health. The authors provide some practical suggestions as to how best to approach these matters.

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