Intended for healthcare professionals


Pause in breast cancer screening is opportunity to re-evaluate programme, says critic

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 01 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3810
  1. Shaun Griffin
  1. London, UK

Figures showing that a million women in the UK missed mammograms after breast screening programmes were paused in March have reignited the debate about whether breast cancer screening does more harm than good.

While the charity Breast Cancer Now has said that the programme should not be paused again, others see the six month gap in screening as an opportunity to reconsider criticisms of the screening programme and evaluate whether to modify it.

Breast Cancer Now has estimated that around 986 000 women in the UK missed mammograms since March, when services were stopped in an effort to reduce the spread of covid-19 and release emergency NHS resources.1

More than 2 million women are normally screened in the UK …

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