Cancer is a prevalent disease in the world that produces devastating effects for any individual inflicted, as well as a huge impact on family and friends of cancer patients. Screening has become more available and less costly for many types and subtypes of this horrible illness. There have also been immense amounts of research done to find other possible causes and easy-to-do preventions. All of these steps taken to increase the chances of survival are amazing, but may have the general population overconfident in the power of some of these tests.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times discussed findings from the National Cancer Institute, as well as studies by doctors at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, that found that cancer found during a mammography screening does not increase the rate of successful treatment compared to finding a lump later on.
The article stated, "More than 75% of women who found out they had breast cancer from a screening mammogram fell into one of these two categories (Finding cancer during a mammogram, or a lump later on), and no more than 25% of them can give the test credit for saving their lives".
This finding clearly shows the power of overconfidence in everyday life. Many people believe that early screening highly increases the rate of survival. This may be true for specific types, and it is a great idea to be aware of any possible problem with your body as early as possible. However, people are overconfident in the mammogram screening. It is often forgotten that here are many other factors that determine the survival rate of a patient. The one mentioned most in this particular article was age.
The University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis VA Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research commented that it is acknowledged that when cancers are discovered at a more advanced stage, the rate for being cured is a long shot. However, that does not mean that finding cancer at the earliest stage always has a better chance of a cure. People need to be aware of overconfidence so that they will not fall prey to false assumptions regarding their health.