Unfortunately, there is no net benefit-ometer for breast cancer screening.
A recent Canadian trial reports breast cancer over-diagnosis rates of up to 55 per cent, from routine screening mammograms.
October is breast cancer awareness month. Women should know there is no reliable evidence that routine mammograms reduce death from breast cancer, and there's good evidence that they cause harm.
More mammography, for instance, starting at a younger age or screening more often, isn’t necessarily better.
Calls to routinely offer breast cancer screening to more women might sound like a good idea, but can harm. Here are three questions to ask when figuring out whether more screening really is better.
It’s normal for breasts to be a little bit lumpy.
Women are told it's important to self-check their breasts. But is this true?
Breast density appears white or bright on mammograms – so do breast cancers.
Women with dense breasts are more likely to develop breast cancer. Density also makes it harder for doctors to detect breast cancer on a mammogram.
Screening may save lives but it comes with a cost - and sometimes unbearable decisions - that shouldn't be underestimated.
The many presentations of breast cancer.
Breast cancer by Shutterstock
Long gone are the days when breast cancer was seen as a tumour with an underlying relationship with oestrogen. The picture is much more complex.
An independent UK inquiry estimated that perhaps one in five of the cancers detected via breast cancer screening are overdiagnosed.
Researchers have been talking about the dangers of overdiagnosis for some time. But now a national survey shows most people aren't told about the risk it poses to their health – and they want to know.
While we search for a cure, we are still searching for cause. A volunteer hangs bras during a promotion against breast cancer in Switzerland in 2008.
Major causes have been identified for most common cancers, like liver and lung. But we still haven't identified one for breast cancer.
Most people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the harms of medical intervention.
“It might do me some good and it won’t hurt to give it a go.” How often have you heard a phrase like this? Most people have naïve optimism about medical care. That’s the finding of a systematic review…
We’re yet to find an alternative way to better detect breast cancer in women with dense breasts.
We’ve known for some time that women with dense breasts are at higher risk of breast cancers that are difficult to detect by mammography. To address this problem, 19 US states have introduced laws requiring…
Mammograms under inspection.
A large study on the benefits of breast cancer screening has cast doubt on the value of mammograms in reducing deaths from…
Today Show host, Lisa Wilkinson, undergoing a mammogram live on the Channel 9’s Today Show.
PR IMAGE /AAP
Celebrities have taken to “live” mammograms on television, undergoing this usually very private procedure in a rather public way. This includes Today show co-host Lisa Wilkinson, and news presenter, Georgie…