This Week In The Bmj

Women need full information for breast screening decisions

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 10 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:0-d

The value of routine mammography is debated, but women must be the ones to make informed choices about the screening examination. Thornton and colleagues (p 101) argue that the focus of the debate in the media and among scientists on the efficacy of mammography misses the point. Women must be empowered to make individual decisions about screening, which the authors say are essentially value judgments. This can be facilitated by providing women with full information on harms and benefits, and doing so in a way that is understandable. The authors state that unless women are able to make true informed choices, support and funding for routine mammography will continue to be questioned.

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