To the Editor The etymology of cancer dates to Hippocrates. Dr Esserman and colleagues1 proposed restricting this term to subsets of cancer with increased malignant potential in an effort to reduce screening for indolent lesions. This represents a synecdochic perspective,2,3 and is roughly analogous to reclassifying tick species that uncommonly transmit Lyme disease. The suggestion that nosology drives disease screening behavior is not wholly without merit, but it is also not a sufficient basis for the proposed taxonomic changes. Moreover, there is no evidence that such changes would produce the desired behavioral results.
Robey RB. Changing the Terminology of Cancer. JAMA. 2014;311(2):202-203. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.283382