136 Combating overdiagnosis- too much medicine. Turning citizens into patients unnecessarily

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Abstract

Objectives

To draw boundaries around what is over diagnosis is and to exclude what it is not.

Objectives

To avoid expensive treatments that achieves marginal benefits.

Objectives

To advocate and implement simple measures.

Method

We need to weigh the costs and benefits of the ‘medicalisation’ of our patient lives, and to be armed with enhanced information about the natural course of common conditions.

Method

Emphasis the importance of the internet searching and looking for needed data and patients’ empowerment.

Results

Over diagnosis is not a false-positive result. False positives are abnormalities that turn out not to be diseases after further investigation. In over diagnosis, the abnormality meets the currently agreed criteria for pathological disease (eg, microscopic criteria for cancer), but the disease detected is not destined to cause symptoms or death per se.

Conclusions

Over diagnosis is one of the most harmful and costly problems in any modern healthcare settings. It often triggers a cascade of overtreatment with unnecessary follow ups, although the two are not identical. We need to ensure that new disease definitions are based on evidence and not merely of any financial interests. Medicine after all meant to produce more good than harm. There is however no clear answers, but we need to weighing the costs and benefits of the ‘medicalisation accordingly and according to that we can reach a definitive solution.

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