Pregnancy, birth and overdetection…

6703007761_b9603479e8A few weeks ago, a study was published in the British Medical Journal.  It looked at overdetection in cancer screening; asking people whether they find overdetection acceptable and to what degree. Taking their findings into account, the authors concluded that, “Acceptability of overdetection in cancer screening is variable. Invitations for screening should include clear information on the likelihood and consequences of overdetection to allow people to make an informed choice.” (Van den Bruel et al 2015).

Wouldn’t it be great if the same principle could be translated across to maternity care, where overdetection is also rife, but women and their families are rarely asked whether this is acceptable to them, or given enough information to enable them to make personalised, informed decisions in the light of this knowledge?

That’s all I have to say about that…


Van den Bruel A, Jones C, Yang Y et al (2015). People’s willingness to accept overdetection in cancer screening: population survey.  BMJ 2015;350:h980.

 photo credit: IMG_3592 via photopin (license)

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