Document Detail

Are there downsides to mammography screening?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15725116     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Most Americans clearly believe that routine screening mammography is beneficial. Given its widespread acceptance, it is useful to consider what the downsides of mammography screening are so that patients are fully informed in the decisions they make. This article lists some less well-recognized risks of mammography, such as false negatives and their accompanying false reassurance, as well as the direct and indirect costs to women and society. Three important downsides-radiation hazard, overdiagnosis of breast cancer, and the paradoxical increase in breast cancer mortality observed in screened women compared to controls age 40-49 years-are addressed. The article also considers the reasons that women are poorly informed about the downsides of mammography. There is, however, agreement that early diagnosis and treatment are important, and that new methods to reduce breast cancer deaths must be sought.
Cornelia J Baines
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The breast journal     Volume:  11 Suppl 1     ISSN:  1075-122X     ISO Abbreviation:  Breast J     Publication Date:    2005 Mar-Apr
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-02-23     Completed Date:  2005-06-28     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9505539     Medline TA:  Breast J     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S7-10     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Breast Neoplasms / mortality,  prevention & control*
Evidence-Based Medicine
False Positive Reactions
Informed Consent
Mammography / adverse effects*
Mass Screening*
Middle Aged
Radiation Injuries / etiology
United States / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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