Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Breast screening

Fundamental errors in estimate of lives saved by screening

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 25 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3359
  1. Karsten J Jørgensen, researcher1,
  2. Peter C Gøtzsche, director1
  1. 1The Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, DK-2100 Copenhagen
  1. kj{at}

    Wald and colleagues estimate that one death from breast cancer is avoided for every 100 women screened over 20 years,1 which is about 10 times more optimistic than that reported in a comprehensive systematic review.2

    They assume a “generally accepted” 24% reduction in mortality from breast cancer in a population offered screening from a consensus report of …

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