Mammography screening – are we being told the truth?
Mammography screening has been a source of controversy ever since it was introduced, with advocates and dissenters arguing back and forth about the benefits and harms of this method of breast cancer screening. Indeed, as recently as December 2011, the BMJ published a study led by James Raftery, professor of health technology assessment at Southampton University, which found that mammography screening arguably does more harm and less good than their advocates maintain.
Now, a new book from Peter C Gøtzsche, Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis, Director of The Nordic Cochrane Centre and Chief Physician, Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen, takes an evidence-based, critical look at the scientific disputes and the information provided to women by governments and cancer charities …with remarkable results.
Mammography Screening: truth lies and controversy finds:
· The position that mammography screening may well do more harm to women than good is increasingly the one held by neutral observers
· Across the past decade, the evidence for this position has been concealed, manipulated and obfuscated to a truly alarming extent
In the author’s own words: This book gives plenty of examples of ad hominem attacks, intimidation, slander, threats of litigation, deception, dishonesty, lies and other violations of good scientific practice. For some years I kept a folder labelled Dishonesty in breast cancer screening on top of my filing cabinet, storing articles and letters to the editor that contained statements I knew were dishonest. Eventually I gave up on the idea of writing a paper about this collection, as the number of examples quickly exceeded what could be contained in a single article.
(From the Introduction to the book)
This ground-breaking and remarkable book doesn’t just review the available evidence on mammography screening but energetically indicts those in the field who neglect accurate analysis of the available data for optimistic interpretations that correlate to their own vested interests.
As Iona Heath, president of the RCGP, states in her foreword to the book: “There are huge vested interests at work and it may still take time for the limitations and harms of screening to be properly acknowledged and for women to be enabled to make adequately informed decisions. When this happens, it will be almost entirely due to the intellectual rigour and determination of Peter Gøtzsche.”
This book will be published on 23rd January 2012. To contact the author, receive a review copy of the book on publication or for more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me as below.
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