Re: How a charity oversells mammography
10 August 2012
As medical students at Cardiff University, we support the authors' argument.
Mammography is particularly relevant to us due to the recent £10 million investment in Wales to upgrade breast screening equipment. This indicates that there is a significant place for breast screening in the future.
The aspects regarding potential harm from screening do need to be explained to the public too. Throughout our undergraduate training we develop an understanding of epidemiology and the sensitivities and specificities of screening. We are aware that the general public doesn’t always appreciate the difference between screening and diagnosis, and the anxiety that screening may generate .
Relevant charitable organisations have a duty to the public to give balanced information regarding screening matters. Not to do so could disempower them from making an informed choice as to whether or not this is the right action for them to take.
1. Bodden T. £10m plan to upgrade Breast Test Wales cancer screening. Daily Post: 2011 January 15th.
2. Hafslund, B, Espehaug, B and Nortvedt, M. Effects of False-Positive Results in a Breast Screening Program on Anxiety, Depression and Health-Related Quality of Life. Cancer Nursing 2011: Vol 0:1-9.
Competing interests: None declared
Cardiff University, c/o 5th Floor, Cochrane Building
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