The media love cancer — what causes it, how to prevent it, who has it. Cancer is something that potentially touches everybody in a dramatic way, and therefore public interest is keen.

There’s a lot invested in cancer, particularly in the area of early diagnosis. An article in the May 26 issue of Toyo Keizai discussed the industry surrounding cancer screenings, which some doctors now question.

Although early diagnosis is considered vital, mis-diagnosis or, more significantly, “over-diagnosis,” is a serious problem, since it leads to unneeded surgeries or treatments that can be just as harmful as the disease itself. However, the article says that Japanese news outlets rarely if ever reports on these doubts, which are becoming more widespread in the international medical community.