The NHS Breast Screening Programme was set up to detect breast cancers at an ‘early’ stage when they were still small, so that lives would be saved.
But recent research has shown things are not so simple; the benefit/harm ratio of screening mammography is not what it seemed. In fact, although mammography is a useful tool, the screening programme seems to be causing more harm than benefit.
Does screening mammography save lives? Does finding breast cancer ‘early’ make a difference to life expectancy? How does anyone know ‘small’ equals ‘early’ if no-one knows how long the cancer has been there? If breast cancer is found while still small, does it mean your life will be saved? Are women invited to screening mammography being given ALL the facts, as the NHS leaflet claims? And what is the very considerable downside to screening?
If you want answers to these and other questions about screening mammography take a look at these links.
Professor Michael Baum’s UCL Lunchtime Lecture on YouTube:
and this blog by Jayant Vaidya, Breast Surgeon and Oncologist Breast Cancer Specialist: http://goo.gl/YEg3K