Breast Screenings Creating An Epidemic of Over-Diagnosis

Breast Screenings Creating An Epidemic of Over-Diagnosis

A new study that looked at 14 years of mammography screening in Norway found that the increased incidence of breast cancer observed in that period was due to over-diagnosis: "findings of tumours that in the absence of screening would never have given rise to clinical illness."  

According to the researchers, the effect of hormone replacement therapy could not have been responsible for the steep increase in breast cancer diagnoses because they occurred "during a period when the use of hormones has fallen by 70%."  

Between 1991-2009 the researchers found new cases of breast cancer increased from 2000 to 2750. The study concluded "that in the absence of screening, around 800 of these women would never have become breast cancer patients." Moreover, 300 of the cancers were classified as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) -- a form of breast cancer that a growing body of research indicates may not be cancer at all.

This latest study confirms research published in the British Medical Journal in Dec. 2011, showing that breast screening may have caused net harm for up to 10 years after their widespread introduction. For more details, read our previous article on the topic, which goes more in depth on breast screenings causing more harm than good.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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