UK Breast Cancer Screening Review

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pennycsf
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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm

UK Breast Cancer Screening Review

Postby pennycsf » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:06 pm

You may have seen in the press that an independent review into the use of breast screening has been published today in The Lancet. It concludes that for every woman whose life is saved as a result of screening, three are "overdiagnosed" and have unnecessary treatment, be that surgery, chemo, hormone therapy or radiotherapy. The conclusion is that women should be made aware before they attend screening of the possibility of overdiagnosis. The breast cancer charities, and Cancer Research which partly funded the study, are still advising women to take advantage of screening.

I have not read the whole paper (although I did look at the summary in the Lancet) and am not really qualified to comment but...........

The concern is not one of misdiagnosis, the women screened are correctly identified as having breast cancer, it is the use of more treatment (or, indeed, any treatment) than is necessary for that particular patient. It appears that a percentage of women with breast cancer would lead healthy lives without the cancer developing in any significant way. Unfortunately, once the cancer has been diagnosed, a doctor cannot tell how or if the tumour will progress and thus naturally errs on the side of caution and advises surgery or whatever.

I am fully in favour of every person being given as much information as possible about their disease to enable them to make a rational and balanced decision about treatment or not to be treated. I also feel that adequate time should be given to enable people to understand a diagnosis before having a treatment plan foisted upon them. However, I do not think it is sensible to discourage women from having mammograms which have significantly reduced the death toll from breast cancer.

Any thoughts?

Penny

pennycsf
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Posts: 602
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: UK Breast Cancer Screening Review Again

Postby pennycsf » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:45 pm

Not quite the same topic but...................there has been a new survey published in UK which shows that older women with advanced BC do not have the same survival rate as their European counterparts, by quite a significant margin :( . A UK doctor puts this down to the fact that older women are not routinely given further scans to see if the cancer has spread and so their treatment is not adapted to the stage of the disease.

Glad I am in France!

And roll on summer at last, my bit of the "sunny mediterranean" has been very bleak during Spring, today we have had suitable June weather and supper on the terrace! :D

Penny


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