Review quantifies benefits, harms of mammography

Review quantifies benefits, harms of mammography
The benefits and harms of screening mammography have been quantified in a special communication published online Dec. 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay)—The benefits and harms of screening mammography have been quantified in a special communication published online Dec. 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., M.P.H., and Honor J. Passow, Ph.D., from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Hanover, N.H., provide a range of estimates for the absolute frequency of breast cancer deaths avoided, false alarms, and overdiagnosis associated with screening mammography. Data were used from nine and are specific to the United States.

The researchers found that, among 1,000 U.S. women aged 50 years who underwent annual screening for 10 years, 0.3 to 3.2 will avoid a death; 490 to 670 will experience one or more false alarms; and overdiagnosis and needless treatment will affect three to 14.

"We hope that these data are sufficient for some women to make the decision about whether or not to be screened," the authors conclude. "Some may choose to pursue screening, valuing any potential for benefit as warranting the accompanying harms. Others may choose not to pursue screening, valuing the plausible range for the magnitude of the harms as being too great to justify pursuing the relatively small benefit."

More information: Abstract
Full Text

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Informing women on breast cancer overdiagnosis

Jan 24, 2013

In a study exploring women's responses to being told about overdiagnosis in breast cancer screening, most women felt the information was important and could enable them to make choices.

Recommended for you

Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

2 hours ago

Researchers and doctors at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) have co-developed the first molecular test ...

Brain tumour cells found circulating in blood

3 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—German scientists have discovered rogue brain tumour cells in patient blood samples, challenging the idea that this type of cancer doesn't generally spread beyond the brain.

International charge on new radiation treatment for cancer

4 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Imagine a targeted radiation therapy for cancer that could pinpoint and blast away tumors more effectively than traditional methods, with fewer side effects and less damage to surrounding tissues and organs.

Computer model reveals cancer's energy source

5 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—A computer model study reveals – for the first time – details of an energy-creating process vital and unique to cancer cells. The research holds promise for new interventions and for ...

User comments