Switzerland debates dismantling its breast cancer screening programme

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 18 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1625
  1. Sophie Arie
  1. 1London

A row has erupted in Switzerland after the Swiss Medical Board recommended that the country’s mammography screening programme for breast cancer be suspended because it leads to too many unnecessary interventions.

In a report made public on 2 February, the board said that while systematic mammography screening for breast cancer saved 1-2 women’s lives for every 1000 screened, it led to unnecessary investigations and treatment for around 100 women in every 1000.1

“The desirable effect is offset by the undesirable effects,” said the report, which was based on study data from …

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