Two new articles in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine call for a halt to breast screening and explain why.
In an editorial, Professor Michael Baum describes the global breast cancer screening programme as a ‘failed experiment…set up in good faith’ and he goes on to explain just why it should be closed down. He suggests that the human and technological resources released by closing the National Health Service Breast Screening Service (NHSBSP), could then be ‘redeployed into more fruitful areas for enhancing women’s health’.
‘Up to 45% of screen detected cases of duct carcinoma in situ end up having mastectomy because of the multi-centricity of the disease’ he says, ‘Yet, the paradox is that clinically detected multi-centric invasive breast cancer is relatively uncommon.’
‘Catch it early, save a life and save a breast’: this misleading mantra of mammography. M Baum.
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine; 2015, Vol. 108(9) 338–339.
And in an essay, Peter C Gotzsche, Director of the Nordic Research Centre, looks at the research evidence and concludes, ‘I believe that if screening had been a drug, it would have been withdrawn from the market long ago’. He ends by stating his belief that ‘it is appropriate that a nationally appointed body in Switzerland has now recommended that mammography screening should be stopped because it is harmful.’
Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned. Peter C Gotzsche. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine; 2015, Vol. 108(9) 341–345