Evidence of the harms of screening is now in the public domain, although not properly shared with those invited to participate. The NHS Breast Screening Programme (NHS BSP) has even set up a randomised controlled trial of this intervention, although little if any benefit is outweighed by serious harms and deaths. Will the older women being targeted for entry in this trial feel coerced into participating through fear because, for so long, NHS BSP information has claimed ‘screening saves lives’, while not mentioning or down-playing harms? (See earlier posts for research findings and conclusions including the Independent Review – Marmot.)
‘The fear of dying of cancer outweighs the fear of undergoing what might be unnecessary surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But what if the unnecessary treatments are not just traumatic but potentially lethal?’ writes John Horgan.
Women need to fully understand the risks before they can make an informed decision about screening.
‘Do mammograms kill more women than they save?’ John Horgan. Scientific American, 13 October 2015.