There is a decades-long argument about the role of mammography in improving outcome in women with breast cancer. Conventional wisdom is that it is very helpful, but naysayers, the most famous of whom is Dr. Gilbert Welch of Harvard Medical School, contend that we are diagnosing too many cancers that will never be harmful and are costing women time, anxiety, treatment side effects and money. Now comes an article published in CANCER in May, 2020 that informs on the subject in a powerful way. Email Dr. Stark (use the form on the right) if you want the full article. The Swedish keep great records on their cancer patients. They went back and looked at over 549,000 women who were eligible to receive mammograms in nine counties in Sweden. 80% of them got mammograms at the prescribed interval (every eighteen months for younger women, every two years for the rest up to age 69). The difference in death from breast cancer was striking. As you can see from the graph on the left, women who chose not to be screened had a much higher death rate from breast cancer. The numbers are huge and the results are very striking. Dr. Stark weighs in: This argument rages on, but this trial is a powerful testiment to the power of breast cancer screening. The naysayers haven’t tried to trash this study yet.
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Blog & Articles
- Lung Cancer 2014: The New Paradigm; then on to 2020 Posted on 20 Aug, 2014
- Dr. Stark on Causation in Cancer Cases Posted on 21 Oct, 2013
- A Blood Clotting Catastrophe: the denoument Posted on 22 Jun, 2013