Study Raises Questions & Choices for Women Screening for Breast Cancer
Several articles published on Tuesday, February 11, reported on a study in the British Medical Journal which finds death rates from breast cancer from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. The articles points out that the screening also had consequential effects when mammograms detected cancers that were too small to feel, leading women to undergo unnecessary chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. One of the most interesting findings was that once detected with mammography, it is not possible to know how much of a threat it is, so physicians err on the side of treating them all with some procedure(s) which may not do any good and could do harm.
Here is a link to the article in the New York Times.
Also in the Times, Roni Caryn Rabin discusses the decision about mammography that confronts women and also provides a brief history of mammography guidelines.
Liz Szabo in USA Today, “Study Raises Awareness of Risk of Mammograms.”
CBC News reports “Breast cancer rates in Canada didn’t improve with mammograms.”