More papers on breast screening

Articles and research about breast screening seem to be coming almost daily now. Here are a few more:

Why mammography screening has not lived up to expectations from the randomised trials. Peter C Gotzsche, Karsten Juhl Jorgensen, Per-Henrik Zahl, Jan Maehlen.Cancer Causes & Control.published online 10 November 2011. doi 10.1007/s10552-011-9867-8 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Likelihood that a woman with screen-detected breast cancer has had her ‘life saved’ by that screening. H Gilbert Welch, MD MPH; Brittney A. Frankel. arch Intern Med. published online October 24, 2011.doi.10.100/archinternmed.2011.476 (c)American Medical Association.

Cancer Screening Reform Needed

J. Natl. Cancer Inst. published 21 November 2011, 10.1093/jnci/djr515

Uninformed Compliance or Informed Choice? A Needed Shift in Our Approach to Cancer Screening
Michael Edward Stefanek

J. Natl. Cancer Inst. published 21 November 2011, 10.1093/jnci/djr474


About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
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2 Responses to More papers on breast screening

  1. Thanks for writing your post on this issue Verite. It has been known that screening caused harms, but it is only now, with more and more research looking into screening mammography, that the true scale of harm is being recognised. It is not only the false negatives and false positives, but the fact that some ‘cancers’ (eg some Ductal Carcinoma in Situ) will never progress to be true cancers or cause a problem in a woman’s lifetime. Even tiny ‘changes’ are picked up by modern machinery and, although a person’s body might well deal with these in the normal way, the diagnosis is ‘cancer’ and treatment follows. Then there is the risk of mammographic radiatiion-induced cancers… Women have a right to know ALL the risks and benefits of screening before being asked for consent, yet they are not told.

    Not only that, but those women in the extended age range who are invited to screening are not being told explicitly that they are actually being recruited to a randomised controlled trial (see M Richards letter, bmj 25 October 2011).

    I’ve posted several pages of research references and links so that people can make their own minds up.
    While mammography itself can be a useful tool, the wholesale regular screening of healthy women is a different matter. It is suggested that breast screening should be reserved for those most at risk of breast cancer since it is possible to triage people these days. The money saved could be used to improve breast cancer services.

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