Vast Study Casts Doubts on Value of Mammograms (The New York Times)


The results of a long-term study in Canada that studied death rates from breast cancer among women who had regular mammograms and those who did not has added to the debate about whether screenings are necessary, reports The New York Times. The study found no difference in the death rates, the article notes.

While the benefits of mammography have long been debated, Switzerland is the only nation that has suggested that it will halt screenings, the Times notes. “Wow, times they are a-changin’,” H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI), tells the Times.

Read the full story, published 2/11/14 by The New York Times. Welch was also interviewed by PBS News Hour and The Boston Globe.

In a similar story published on 2/11/14, The New York Times turned to Lisa Schwartz, a professor of medicine at TDI, for comment on the new mammography study. “For so long, we have been trying to convince people that you’re irresponsible or not taking care of yourself if you don’t do this. People were hit over the head with that message,” she tells the Times.

Women need to consider both the pros and cons of regular screenings, says Schwartz. “It’s important for women to realize there is a genuine decision to be made here.”

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