Overdiagnosis in the context of access to new medical technologies
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Zakład Etyki i Filozofii Człowieka, Wydział Pielęgniarstwa i Nauk o Zdrowiu, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie
Anna Zagaja   

Zakład Etyki i Filozofii Człowieka, Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie, ul. S. Staszica 4/6, 20-059 Lublin
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2016;22(1):1–6
Dynamic development of new diagnostics technologies in medicine leads to their wide application in medical practice and screening tests, especially in screening for cancer. These tests in their assumptions are to detect diseases at an early stage of development, enabling early treatment and contributing to mortality reduction. However, reports indicating an increasing phenomenon of overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment have begun to appear.

Aim of the study:
The aim of this study is to introduce the phenomenon of overdiagnosis, the distinction of this problem from similar phenomena, indication of the main areas of its occurrence and consequences

Current state of knowledge:
Overdiagnosis can be an unnecessary psychological, physical and financial burden to the patients and an unjustified financial expenditure for the country. Overdiagnosis is most frequently associated with screening for cancer (e.g. prostate, breast, lung); however, it also exists in clinical medicine and on the OTC market. Single reports indicate that in some medical diagnosis (e.g. prostate cancer), overdiagnosis can occur in even 40–60% of cases, and sometimes may lead to further unnecessary treatment.

In introducing new medical technologies and planning screening, it is essential to take into consideration the risk of overdiagnosis, and take action in order to reduce the phenomenon.

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