Breast screening can lead to some women having unnecessary treatment

Anne Li                                      1/15/17


Around a third of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS – abnormal breast tissue) through screening in Denmark are likely to receive unnecessary treatment, according to new estimates. When looking only at invasive breast cancer cases, the chance of overdiagnosis or unnecessary treatment was found to be lower. The findings, published in Annals of Internal Medicine (link is external), highlight the problem of overdiagnosis, where slow-growing tumours that wouldn’t cause a woman any harm are picked up. These women are usually given unnecessary treatment because there isn’t a reliable way to tell which cancers have been overdiagnosed. Fiona Osgun, Cancer Research UK’s senior health information officer, said the study reinforces that breast screening has harms as well as benefits. “Women need to be aware of these when deciding whether or not to take up their invitations to screening,” she added. The study looked at Denmark's screening programme, which offers mammograms to women aged between 50 and 69. 


See original article at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/news-report/2017-01-10-breast-screening-can-lead-to-some-women-having-unnecessary-treatment


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