Intended for healthcare professionals


Breast screening benefits twice as many women as it harms, shows new analysis

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 31 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1824
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz

    A1 London

    For every woman treated for breast cancer unnecessarily on the basis of mammography results the deaths of two other women from the disease are prevented, a new analysis has found.

    The researchers conclude that “there is a worthwhile benefit of mammography in terms of lives saved, and that this significantly exceeds any harm in the form of overdiagnosis that may occur.”

    The authors of the study, which was partly funded by Cancer Research UK, firstly looked at data from the Swedish two county trial, published in 1985. It was this trial that showed that screening reduced mortality from breast cancer by 30% and led to the UK …

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