A voice for women's health

Breast Cancer

Rethinking Breast Cancer Treatment

The Breast Cancer Genes

The Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer

Important Facts About Breast Cancer
  1. Breast cancer screening programmes have not reduced breast cancer mortality rates.

  2. ​For the vast majority of women, the lifetime risk of dying from breast cancer is about 3%-4%.

  3. Women have more than a 50% chance of surviving breast cancer once it is diagnosed.

For more information on the failure of breast cancer screening programmes to reduce the mortality rate read Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy, by Peter Gotzsche. Radcliffe Publishing 2012.


Breast Cancer Screening

Cochrane review: Screening for breast cancer with mammography

Important Issues in Cancer Screening

Cancer Screening Distorts Diagnosis of Cancer

More Trouble With NZ Breast Cancer Screening

Mammography Wars


Breast Cancer Screening: The Facts

If 2000 women are screened regularly for 10 years:
  • 1 woman will avoid dying from breast cancer
  • 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed without screening, will have breast cancer diagnosed and be treated unnecessarily:
    • 4 of these women will have a breast removed,
    • 6 will receive breast conserving surgery,
    • and most will receive radiotherapy;
  • 1800 will be alive after 10 years; without screening 1799 will be alive.

Of 2000 women (in Europe) who participate in 10 rounds of screening:
  • 500 will be recalled for additional investigations because cancer is suspected;
  • about 125 will have a biopsy
  • 200 will experience psychological distress for several months related to a false positive finding.

Screening can provide false reassurance. Up to 50% of cancers among women in screening programmes are detected between two screening rounds, and these interval cancers are the most dangerous.
Mammography is painful for about a third of women.

The information above is contained in a pamphlet that provides accurate information on the benefits and risks of breast cancer screening and can be accessed at: https://nordic.cochrane.org/sites/nordic.cochrane.org/files/public/uploads/images/mammography/mammography-leaflet.pdf

Cancer Screening distorts diagnosis of cancer

At the beginning of 2013, leading American cancer scientists called for a set of changes to deal with the problem of over-diagnosis and overtreatment caused by cancer screening.

See http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/285047/screening-distorts-diagnosis-cancer


Time to Stop Mammography Screening?

Canadian Medical Association Journal, 22 November 2011 accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3225414/pdf/1831957.pdf

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