Australians are increasingly being diagnosed with cancers that will do them no harm if left undetected or untreated, exposing them to unnecessary surgeries and chemotherapy, says a new study published online today in the Medical Journal of Australia.
The research, led by Professor Paul Glasziou, the Director of the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Bond University, drew on data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to compare how the lifetime risk of five cancers had changed between 1982 and 2012.
The study shows compared to 30 years ago, Australians are much more likely to experience a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
The figures suggest that in 2012 24 percent of cancers or carcinomas in men were overdiagnosed. These included 42 percent of prostate cancers, 42 percent of renal cancers, 73 percent of thyroid cancers and 58 percent of melanomas.
For women, 18 percent of cancers or carcinomas were overdiagnosed, including 22 percent of breast…

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