“Some types of screening are a good idea — colorectal, for example,” said the lead author, Dr. Karsten Juhl Jorgensen, deputy director of the Nordic Cochrane Center. “But breast cancer has a biology that doesn’t lend itself to screening. Healthy women get a breast cancer diagnosis, and this has serious psychological consequences and well-known physical harms from unnecessary treatment. We’re really doing more harm than good.” The New York Times The Downside of Breast Cancer Screening
After reading the above NYT article, we wanted to explore both sides of the Breast Cancer Screening debate so we invited professionals and patients to weigh in with their opinions. We believe patients should be informed before making health care decisions and that includes reading evidence-based research reports as well as hearing personal narratives from patients who have gone through similar experiences.
Our intention with this series is to inform our readers about the facts surrounding breast cancer screening and the implications toward informed decision making.
Table of Contents:
The benefits of breast screening are doubtful and the harms important. by Karsten Juhl Jørgensen, MD, DrMedSci, Deputy Director, The Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Commentary on the Downside of Breast Screening by Anthony B. Miller, MD, FRCP. Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Overdiagnosis, Overdone: Unraveling Issues and Pitfalls by Constantine Kaniklidis, Research Director, No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation (NSBCF)
Overdiagnosis, Overdone: A Patient Summary by Constantine Kaniklidis, Research Director, No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation (NSBCF)
Mammography screening works by Stephen W. Duffy, MSc, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London
A Rational Approach To Breast Cancer Screening by Martin J. Yaffe, PhD, C.M, Senior Scientist and Tory Family Chair in Cancer Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Professor, Depts. Medical Biophysics and Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Director, Smarter Imaging Program, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Alternative Facts and Breast Cancer Screening by Daniel B. Kopans, M.D., F.A.C.R., F.S.B.I, Professor of Radiology Harvard Medical School, Founder – Breast Imaging Division – Massachusetts General Hospital
The so-called “debate” over breast cancer screening is not a true debate by László Tabár, MD, FACR (Hon) and Peter B. Dean, MD.
The war against breast cancer, or the war against screening mammography: which is the legitimate war? by Michael N. Linver, MD, FACR, FSBI,Co-Director of Mammography, X-Ray Associates of New Mexico, PC, Clinical Professor of Radiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine Albuquerque, New Mexico
The best we can do is inform our patients about the Canadian guidelines and discuss the risks and benefits of screening with them so that they can make an informed choice. by Dr. Ellen Warner, MD, M.Sc., FRCPC, FACP, Medical Oncologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre
Early detection messaging needs to be comprehensive so that women receive appropriate screening, understand their risk, know the symptoms, check their breasts, and watch for unusual changes. by Lorna Larsen RN, BScN, Team Shan President
A mammogram? Male breast cancer? You’ve got to be kidding. by Khevin Barnes Male Breast Cancer Survivor and Speaker
For further reading, please see the following article in Current Oncology: Recommendations on breast cancer screening and prevention in the context of implementing risk stratification: impending changes to current policies
Photo: By Grant Hutchinson: https://www.flickr.com/photos/splorp/29053000