Breast cancer screening review – risk, choice and reality

Most of us know someone who has had breast cancer. Some of us knew a woman who tragically died prematurely from the disease. All women, in theory, are at risk. But does that mean all women should have breast screening ? No matter what the service, it’s sensible to undertake reviews as we are constantly adding to our knowledge base in science and medicine. New evidence can come to light and existing advice should be reviewed in the light of the new evidence.

In the case of breast screening, the conflicting evidence for breast screening isn’t actually that new, it’s just taken a brave Professor to publicly flag up that there is an issue and allow the concept that breast screening must always be ‘a good thing’ to be challenged. Part of that issue is that the public haven’t been given all the information on what the different levels of risk are for breast cancer, the risks of having screening, and that screening is not the same as diagnosis. The need for a review was raised by an esteemed group of scientists at the Cochrane Collaboration, who produce research on the effectiveness of healthcare. Read more…

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