Mammogram screening not preventing breast cancer deaths, new study suggests

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The debate over mammography has just heated up considerably, with the publication this week of the results of a large-scale Canadian study.

The study, conducted on 90,000 Canadian women, has cast strong doubts on the value of mammography to prevent deaths from breast cancer. It examined the impact of screening mammography on cancer rates and deaths to cancer in women aged 40 to 59 who were followed for nearly 25 years. Researchers compared two groups of women: those who had screening mammograms  and those who had breast lumps checked by a health professional. It found that the numbers of women who died from breast cancer in the two groups were virtually the same.

Published Feburary 12 in the the British Medical Journal, the study is already making waves through the medical community, and beyond, adding to the already heated debate about mammography as a breast cancer screening tool.

Dr. Cornelia Baines, one of the study’s authors, published an article on our website in 2012, discussing this study and the debate surrounding it. Read Unpacking the great mammography debate.

Read the BMJ article on the study, and the editorial, below.

BMJ Mammography article.pdf528.46 KB
BMJ Too Much Mammography - Editorial.pdf143.83 KB