Intended for healthcare professionals


Breast screening seems driven by belief rather than evidence

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 16 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:677
  1. Hazel Thornton (, independent advocate for quality in research and healthcare
  1. Saionara, Rowhedge, Colchester CO5 7EA

    EDITOR—The aim of the NHS breast screening programme when it was set up in 1988 was to reduce mortality from breast cancer by 25% by the year 2000. In her foreword to the latest report of the programme, for the year 2000, Yvette Cooper, undersecretary of state, states: “Breast cancer mortality in England and Wales decreased by 21.3% between 1990 to 1998, and it is estimated that 30% of this reduction was due to breast screening.”1 But 30% of …

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