Increasing diagnosis of subclinical thyroid cancers leads to spurious improvements in survival rates
Modern medical practices increasingly uncover small, asymptomatic thyroid cancers. Survival rates appear improved, but this finding is spurious, attributable instead to shifts in the characteristics of disease being diagnosed. Relying on survival rates to measure success in treating thyroid cancer may reinforce inappropriately aggressive management. Treatment decisions in thyroid cancer should be made based on mortality, not survival data.