Are breast cancer screening programs justified?

Millions of Canadians happily sign up for breast cancer screening every year. After all, we’re told that it “saves lives” for women aged 50 to 74. Yet, there is no evidence that it does. Most – but not all – studies conclude screening mammography reduces a woman’s chance of dying of breast cancer. But in randomized controlled trials on breast

Weighing the harms and benefits of mammography

Harms and Benefits of Mammography has run a series of stories on breast cancer screening mammography, stimulated by the recent guidelines from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.  This last story focuses on how women and policy makers must balance the benefits and harms of screening mammography. The issues raised in this series are relevant to screening

Did mammography save her life?

Did Mammography Save Her Life?

Some breast cancers detected by screening mammography are cured and would have led to death had they not been detected early. Other breast cancers detected by screening can be treated just as effectively if diagnosed later, may not have needed treatment at all, or may be so advanced that treatment does not prevent death from

Interpreting randomized trial evidence around mammography

Interpreting Randomized Trial Evidence on Mammography

The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recently released recommendations about screening for breast cancer.  These recommendations have been criticized by some because they emphasize the results of randomized trials.  This article explores the advantages and limitations of randomized trial evidence regarding screening mammography.  The recent recommendations by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive

Presenting the benefits of mammography

Presenting the Benefits of Mammography

The results of research on screening for breast cancer with mammography can be presented in ways that make the benefits seem larger or smaller  Similarly, the benefits can be described as avoiding deaths from breast cancer or avoiding deaths from any cause Part of the debate about the benefits of screening mammography may be related

The mammography controversy

Mammography controversy

In medical journals, doctors and scientists continue to debate the relative benefits and harms of breast cancer screening for women who are at average risk of developing breast cancer. This debate is not always reflected in screening programs, most of which strongly recommend mammography to average risk women within a certain age bracket. Some experts