Intended for healthcare professionals


Risk of overdiagnosis doesn’t deter women from breast cancer screening, study finds

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 23 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2621
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

Although women have been found to be surprised and shocked that mammography could lead to “overdiagnosis,” they would rather attend screening than risk missing a treatable cancer, new research has found.

The study, funded by Cancer Research UK, used focus groups involving 40 women aged between 50 and 71 years old who were based in and around London, some of whom had already been screened and others who had not attended for screening.1

The researchers gave the participants information on breast screening and the possibility of overdiagnosis, defined as a proportion of slower growing cancers diagnosed through screening that might never …

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