December 11, 2013 by

(Health Secrets) A significant number of people who have undergone treatment for cancer over the past several decades may not have ever actually had the disease, admits a new report commissioned by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). Published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), this government study identifies both over diagnosis and misdiagnosis of cancer as two major causes of the growing cancer epidemic. These two together have led to millions being falsely treated for cancer with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, who in reality had no such cancer.

The report drops a few major bombshells on the way that many cancers are diagnosed. For example, breast cancer, is sometimes not breast cancer at all but rather a benign condition such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). However, untold millions of women with DCIS have been misdiagnosed as having breast cancer, and subsequently treated for a condition that likely never would have caused them any health problems. And similarly in men, high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), a type of premalignant precursor to cancer, is commonly mistreated as if it were actual cancer.

“The practice of oncology in the United States is in need of a host of reforms and initiatives to mitigate the problem of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of cancer, according to a working group sanctioned by the National Cancer Institute,” explains about the study. “Perhaps most dramatically, the group says that a number of premalignant conditions, including ductal carcinoma in situ and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, should no longer be called ‘cancer’.”

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