Letters

Screening for cervical cancer Graphs may mislead

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6959.953a (Published 08 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:953
  1. C M Anderson,
  2. J G Thornton
  1. Heaton Moor Medical Centre, Stockport SK4 4NX
  2. Institute of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Leeds University, Leeds LS2 9LN.

    EDITOR, - The cost-benefit ratio for cervical screening is less favourable in younger women than older women. Cervical cancer is less common in younger women, and the anxiety generated and the likelihood of unnecessary treatment or of an adverse effect on fertility are greater. Because screening young women may do more harm than good, those who advocate it should not mislead themselves or others about the facts.

    Readers should compare the two graphs of death rate for cervical cancer by age shown in …

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