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Mammography screening has little or no effect on breast cancer deaths, Swedish data indicate

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 17 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4847
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Mammography screening has little or no effect on mortality from breast cancer in women aged 40-69, shows an analysis of Swedish figures published this week. But commentators argue that trends in breast cancer deaths cannot be used to evaluate screening in isolation from developments in diagnostic methods and treatment.

Regular mammography screening for women aged 40-69 years was introduced gradually in Sweden from 1974, achieving nationwide coverage across all 21 counties in 1997. Attendance for mammography screening is now among the highest recorded in any country, with 75% to 85% of eligible women attending screening regularly.

Researchers led by Philippe Autier, director of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, hypothesised that the …

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