Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!


Screening: no, it doesn't save lives

MagazineNovember 2005 (Vol. 16 Issue 8)Screening: no, it doesn't save lives

Medicine has persisted with the idea that screening for breast cancer saves lives

Medicine has persisted with the idea that screening for breast cancer saves lives. But a new study has discovered that breast cancer screening does nothing of the sort.

The researchers say their new study is the first to use data from clinical practice as opposed to the tightly controlled tests that have been used in previous studies.

The study team, from the University of Washington School of Medicine, looked at the records of 1351 women who had died from breast cancer between 1983 and 1998, and compared them against a group of 2501 women, who were matched for age and risk of developing breast cancer, but who were free of cancer. If screening works, the study team surmised, there should be more women in the cancer-free group who had been screened.

To their surprise, this was not the case. Of the cancer group, 66 per cent of the women had been screened compared with 64 per cent of the women in the cancer-free group.

In other words, just as many women who had died from breast cancer had been screened as those who didn't have the disease, which suggests that screening either didn't detect the tumour in time, or didn't detect it at all (J Natl Cancer Inst, 2005; 97: 1035-43).

Pregnancy pains other ways to push your buttons

You may also be interested in...

Sign up for free today

Sign up now to get your FREE 17-point Plan to Great Health

Free membership gives you access to our latest news reports, use of our community area, forums, blogs, readers' health tips and our twice-weekly
e-news letter.

WDDTY Recommends

Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2016 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved