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Mammography's Critics


A new book written by Peter Gøtzsche, director of the independent Nordic Cochrane Collaboration, makes the claim that breast cancer screening causes more harm than good, and accuses those researchers who support mammography of misconduct, reports the Guardian's Sarah Boseley. Gøtzsche's group has been studying data from breast screening trials for more than a decade, and the book — Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy — lays out those findings, Boseley says. In it, Gøtzsche says that the data does not support mass screening as a preventive measure, and that while mammography may save the life of one in 2,000 women, it harms 10 others who may undergo unnecessary surgery or treatment to get rid of cells that may never progress into cancer.

"I believe the time has come to realize that breast cancer screening programs can no longer be justified," Gøtzsche tells Boseley. "I recommend women to do nothing apart from attending a doctor if they notice anything themselves."

The Scan

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