Intended for healthcare professionals


Ramifications of screening for breast cancer: 1 in 4 cancers detected by mammography are pseudocancers

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 23 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:727
  1. H Gilbert Welch, professor of medicine (,
  2. Lisa M Schwartz, associate professor of medicine,
  3. Steven Woloshin, associate professor of medicine
  1. VA Outcomes Group, White River Junction, VT 05009, USA

    EDITOR—In this issue Zackrisson et al report on follow-up data from the Malmö mammographic screening trial and conclude that the rate of overdiagnosis of breast cancer was 10%.1 They do not, however, calculate the risk we believe is most relevant to women considering mammography: What is the chance that a screen detected cancer represents overdiagnosis?

    After 15 years of follow-up, there were 1320 diagnosed in the screened …

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