Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mammograms Do Not Reduce Breast Cancer Deaths

From Bloomberg, "New Drugs Trump Mammograms for Fewer Cancer Deaths, Study Says" by Charles Mead:
Scientists studying the link between screening and mortality over the past two decades said widespread use of mammograms didn’t play any “direct part” in reducing deaths from the most common malignancy in women. Their findings were published today in the British Medical Journal.

Mammograms -- low-dose X-rays of the breast that doctors use to look for early signs of cancer -- catch more tumors that are less dangerous and often miss the “real killers,” said Philippe Autier, research director at the Lyon, France-based International Prevention Research Institute and lead author of the study. He said research shows most instances of breast cancer are initially found by women themselves. Instead of a nationwide screening system with mammograms, more money should be aimed at new treatment and imaging methods, he said.

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