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Views And Reviews No Holds Barred

Margaret McCartney: Can we now talk openly about the risks of screening?

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 14 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2055

Rapid Response:

Re: Margaret McCartney: Can we now talk openly about the risks of screening?

the article should move the debate forward.

the resources tied up up in unfocussed breast screening are significant, radiologist and radiographer time being a potential redirection to benefit the whole NHS.
the potential of alternatives to radiation based screening, based upon genetics and cellular populations in serum warrent review as cost effective alternatives.

the debate within radiology has always been about mammographic radiation induced cancer and resource diversion; as much as other iatrogenic morbidity and the value of whole population screening versus cohort selection.
at a time of acute on chronic radiologist workforce restriction across the UK NHS this would be a timely debate.

let's hope politics responds openly and supports science over pride; times have moved on, knowledge is greater, different techniques now present, and decisions taken in the past based upon early trials have been superseded by experience.

and indeed the cohort of folk who missed being screened are a useful control group for VFM analysis, use it!

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 May 2018
john s hyslop