I'm not sure that this is conclusive, as the article's title suggests, but it seems like a strong evidence point in favor of continuing screenings in women 50 and above.The Panel found that routine breast screening leads to a 20% relative risk reduction compared with no screening. This means for every 235 women invited for screening, one breast cancer death will be prevented, representing 43 breast cancer deaths prevented per 10 000 women aged 50 years invited to screening for the next 20 years.Additionally, the Panel found that some overdiagnosis occurs. 19% of breast cancers diagnosed in women invited for screening would not have caused any problem if left undiagnosed and untreated (a rate of 129 per 10 000 women). However, owing to the scarcity of reliable data in this area, more research is needed to accurately assess the magnitude of overdiagnosis. The Panel also considered how women feel about the available evidence: many women believe the balance of benefits to risks is worthwhile.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Breast cancer screenings
The Lancet reports on the findings of the independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer Screening: