Intended for healthcare professionals


Breast cancer screening may not save lives, study finds

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 15 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:139
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

    Researchers from a respected Cochrane centre have controversially concluded that screening with mammography for breast cancer is a waste of time. After reanalysing data from previously published trials, Dr Peter Gçtzsche and Mr Ole Olsen of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, stated that “there is no reliable evidence that screening decreases breast cancer mortality” (Lancet 2000;355:129-34).

    The investigators re-examined the evidence on which national breast cancer screening programmes are based—eight randomised trials comprising half a million women. They said that in six of the trials (in Edinburgh, New York, and areas of Sweden) the randomisation procedures were inadequate and the groups of women …

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