Thyroid cancer fulfills the criteria for overdiagnosis by having a reservoir of indolent cancers and practice patterns leading to the diagnosis of incidental cancers from the reservoir. The occurrence of overdiagnosis is also supported by population-based data showing an alarming rise in thyroid cancer incidence without change in mortality. Because one of the activities leading to overdiagnosis is the workup of incidental thyroid nodules detected on imaging, it is critical that radiologists understand the issue of overdiagnosis and their role in the problem and solution. This article addresses 1) essential thyroid cancer facts, 2) the evidence supporting overdiagnosis, 3) the role of radiology in overdiagnosis, 4) harms of overdiagnosis, and 5) steps radiologists can take to minimize the problem.
- Incidental thyroid nodule
- Thyroid cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging