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For Every Life Saved by Mammograms, 3-10 Women are Overdiagnosed and Unnecessarily Treated

Mammography Screening

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  • A review of research on mammography in the UK shows that for every life saved by mammography screening, three women will be overdiagnosed and treated for a cancer that might never have given them trouble in their lifetimes. British women are recommended to get a mammogram every three years, starting at the age of 50
  • Last year, a review by the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews found that mammography breast cancer screening led to 30 percent overdiagnosis and overtreatment
  • For every 2,000 women getting an annual mammogram throughout 10 years, one woman will have her life prolonged while 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily
  • Recent research has found that women carrying a specific gene mutation are at significantly increased risk of breast cancer directly resulting from low doses of ionizing radiation, such as that from mammograms. Women carrying this mutation who were exposed to diagnostic radiation before the age of 30 were twice as likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who did not have the mutated gene

By Dr. Mercola

A new study published in The Lancet shows that for every life saved by mammography screening, three women will be overdiagnosed and treated for a cancer that might never have given them trouble in their lifetimes.


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