Intended for healthcare professionals


Targeted breast screening could reduce overdiagnosis and be more cost effective, study finds

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 06 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3009
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London

A risk stratified approach could improve the cost effectiveness of the UK’s breast screening programme and reduce the “cost” of overdiagnosis to women, a study has found.

Not offering breast cancer screening to women at lower risk would still maintain a reduction in breast cancer deaths, said the authors of a modelling study published in JAMA Oncology.1 However, the charity Breast Cancer Now, while supporting a risk based approach, found it “extremely concerning” that this particular model would see more women die overall.

The screening programme in the UK invites all women aged 50 to 69 for digital mammography every three years. The risk of developing breast cancer varies, and the current “one size …

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