New analysis fails to identify clear net benefit of annual mammography screening.

Just as with cholesterol screening, blood pressure metrics, and the PSA quagmire – there is now a debate on annual mammography screening.
Recently a New England Journal of Medicine NEJM said
“We have become increasingly aware of the potential harms of screening mammography, while cognizant that much of the reduction in breast cancer mortality reflects advances in treatment….”
“The authors estimate that among 1000 women aged 50 who undergo annual screening for 1 decade, 0.3 to 3.2 fewer deaths from breast cancer will occur, 490 to 670 women will receive at least 1 false-positive finding, and 3 to 14 women will be overdiagnosed (usually leading to unnecessary treatment).”
Now that experts have created confusion, we will each have to rely on our primary care physician to determine what to do given the ambiguity over the “evidence.”
More to follow as efforts are made to clarify the mammography kerfuffle.
*to read the full NEJM article: click on New Hypertension Guidelines Emphasize Less Stringent Thresholds.
To read the full NEJM article “Backing Off From Annual Screening Mammography?” by Andrew M. Kaunitz, MD, highlight and click on hyperlink
Note: This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician


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