A report produced from a survey conducted by Dr. Odette Wegwarth and Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany published in the Oct. 21, 2013, edition of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds that patient preference is not considered by physicians in cancer screenings that could lead to excessive and unnecessary treatment and overdiagnosis.
The survey included 317 men and women from the United States that were 50 to 69 years of age.
The survey was designed to access the level of overdiagnosis that patients were willing to accept in a cancer screening that may lead to excessive and unnecessary treatment of slow growing cancers.
Only 9.5 percent of the participants were informed by their physicians of the potential for overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment in a cancer screening.
The criterion the patients used to determine whether they would participate or continue to participate in cancer screenings that posed the potential for overdiagnosis and overtreatment was one person per life saved from death caused by cancer and 10 people per life saved respectively.
One might consider overdiagnosis and overtreatment is a physician’s protection from litigation in the United States. One should also note that the test group would in majority still have to pay for medical insurance and an increasing portion of their health care costs.