July 31, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Refining the definition of cancer
Institute is moving in the right direction
Congratulations to the scientists at the National Cancer Institute for taking a bold step in redefining how we diagnose cancer [“Scientists see harm in overly broad definition of cancer,” News, July 30.]
By redefining terms, we are forever changing the way we diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, and it reminds us that nothing is more important in health care than a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
Just think about the unnecessary suffering that can be prevented, not to mention the billions we waste for unnecessary treatments.
Earlier this year, the National Coalition on Health Care and Best Doctors released stunning findings from a survey of cancer specialists that found that misdiagnosis in cancer was greatly underestimated, and that there is a pressing need for systemic changes to reduce misdiagnoses from 15 to 28 percent in all medical cases, down to something much closer to zero.
With well-meaning but overburdened doctors only able to spare a few minutes with each patient, fractured medical information and patients hesitant to ask questions or seek a second opinion, the problem is only expected to get worse, unless we continue to take bold steps such as those taken by the National Cancer Institute.
David Seligman, chairman and CEO, Best Doctors, Boston
Trending with readers