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Editor's Choice

Breast screening controversy continues

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f477 (Published 24 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f477
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor, BMJ
  1. fgodlee{at}bmj.com

When the Marmot report on breast cancer screening was published in November last year, many will have hoped for an end to this particular controversy. Prompted by calls in the BMJ for more honest information on the harms of screening (BMJ 2010;340:c3106, BMJ 2011;343:d6894), Marmot and his committee were charged with asking whether the screening programme should continue, and if so, what women should be told about the risks of overdiagnosis.

As nicely summarised by Nigel Hawkes at the time (BMJ 2012;345:e7330), the committee concluded that the programme should continue because it did prevent deaths—43 deaths …

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