Missteps in Current Estimates of Cancer Overdiagnosis

Christoph I. Lee, Ruth Etzioni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The balance between the benefits and harms of imaging-based cancer screening continues to be an area of controversy and widespread media attention. Of the potential harms, overdiagnosis from screening is likely the most elusive in estimating and quantifying. This article describes the major methodological issues with recently reported estimates of overdiagnosis that are based on excess cancer incidence, and suggests that modeling focused on tumor lead-time can serve as a complementary method for excess incidence-based overdiagnosis estimates. Radiologists should be conversant on the topic of overdiagnosis and understand the limitations of different methods used to estimate its magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-229
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Overdiagnosis
  • cancer screening
  • mammography
  • overtreatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Missteps in Current Estimates of Cancer Overdiagnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this