Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer An Opportunity for Improvement

Tom Emerick
Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs

by Thomas Emerick

First posted on Cracking Health Costs 11/7/2013

Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs
Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs

According to an article in Natural News.com, the National Cancer Institute reports huge numbers of people have been falsely diagnosed with and treated for cancer. According to the NCI study, many people are simply diagnosed incorrectly, and sadly given life-threatening treatments. Further, doctors [and some wellness vendors] are calling common abnormalities cancer when they flatly are not cancer. Remember the strange case of the C. Edward Koop award in Nebraska?

“‘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 Medscape.com about the study.”  Umm, to say the least.

What’s really needed is accountability for this type of dangerous misdiagnoses and mistreatment of patents. That accountability needs to come from the health systems.

We also need accountability for wellness vendors who falsely report detecting cancer in people. This accountability needs to come from corporate buyers of wellness services.


  1. Tom, I wish that there were more people like you. I had a cyst skeleton that dropped over a benign mineral deposit. I ended up with RSD-black flopping fingers, hand turning black. It ruined my marriage. I didn’t want the biopsy, part of this was that the surgeons said that I’d get chemo-no matter what the biopsy report said. The same insurance company that threatened to drop the family’s insurance, now put pressure on my husband at work about expenses at a pain clinic, where I got stellate ganglion shots in the neck twice a week.

    The real irony was that all of these people ignored a BCC between my lip and nose. I finally got a doctor to cut it out last summer (2012)-stage 2. New tumors popped up before the stitches could be removed. Even though the bone wasn’t involved, the ACS standard is for bone removal-They wanted to remove my nose, eye, cheek. They didn’t say it, but that would have to include my teeth because part of the palate being removed. I asked -How do you take care of a wound like this? How long would it take to get the prosthetics? Where would my body be during that time? I had to take a biker grandson in for the second visit to scare the doctor into giving me any answers.
    That it would take a year to get prosthetics-the nose is hard to do. I told every doctor that in 1556, Tycho Brahe had his nose cut off in Prague. Because Tycho killed his opponent-that made Tycho the best mathematician in Europe. Tycho had a silver nose for daily wear, and a gold nose for when he went to royal functions. I told them that if they could make prosthetic noses in the 1500s, without imaging, without antibiotics, no anesthesia, what in hell is wrong with doctors in this century?

    I was told that radiation treatment would maybe give me 4-5 years before it comes back. That the recommended treatment would give me about 10 years. My grandson and I ran into a BCC stage 2T patient that did the surgery thing. It returned after not quite 4 years.

    My feet voted for me-when I walked over to a MD Anderson cancer radiation center and got treatment. The last Scan with contrast showed that the tumors are dead.

    American oncology needs to quit scarring bodies, destroying lives and marriages- and remove something that a patient complains about year after year. We don’t have any standards.