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Study claims over diagnosis of cancer in Australia

A controversial study published in the Medical Journal of Australia has claimed about one in every five cancers diagnosed in Australia would have been better left undiscovered.

The study argues more than half of melanomas, 22 per cent of breast cancers and 42 per cent of prostate cancers diagnosed would never have caused problems.

Chief executive of the Cancer Council of Australia Sanchia Aranda told Gareth Parker technology means cancers are diagnosed a lot earlier but it may be that it’s gone too far in some cases.

“It’s important to recognise it’s not misdiagnosis. These cancers meet the definition of cancer but they’re either not growing at all or are slow growing and are unlikely to be problematic in the person’s lifetime.

“At the moment we don’t have the evidence to prevent over diagnosis but we can prevent the over treatment that can occur.”

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Liam Bartlett
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