When the diagnosis is cancer, many people understandably want to pull out all the stops to treat it. But some tests, treatments and procedures not only are unnecessary but also can be harmful.

“Sometimes less really is more,” says Lowell E. Schnipper, chief of hematology-oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and clinical director of the Boston institution’s cancer center. “It’s important to assess if what you are doing will help you stay well longer.”

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