A recent study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine from Norway. It showed only a 10% decrease in deaths from breast cancer with mammograms. The bomb came later in the study where it was reported that there was an 8% decrease in deaths in those who did not
get mammograms. That is only a 2% difference and if you understand statistics you know that 2% is within the error of the test. In other words there was no difference in death rates whether you did or did not get mammograms - nada. Dr Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy said,” based on the new results 2,500 women would have to be screened for 10 years to avoid one death from breast cancer.” That is 25,000 mammograms ! Assuming the normal 10% false positive that means 2,500 of these women would get called back for an additional round of cancer causing x-ray mammograms and 15 would be treated with chemo and radiation for benign conditions of the breast that would never have hurt them ! That doesn’t include any cancers that the mammograms may have caused. That is why the American College of Physicians and the US Preventative Task Force no longer recommends mammograms for women under 50. The only question is, why would anyone recommend them at all.
- Dr. Ben