Follow Us Here:

Cancer Knowledge Network

Cancer Knowledge Network and Current Oncology are proudly published by Multimed Inc.
Advocate - Educate - Innovate

Breast Cancer Screening, Mammography and “Alternative Facts”




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 doesnt 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. Were 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:



This entry was posted in all, Featured Posts, Living with Cancer, Living with Cancer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Breast Cancer Screening, Mammography and “Alternative Facts”

  1. Hello Karen,

    I would like to introduce our company to you and the benefits of adding Thermology for breast health. I would like to arrange a conference call with you and Dr. Philip Hoekstra. Therma-Scan is the only medical scientific lab. in North America that solely dedicated to medical Thermology and our focus has been early detection since 1972. Please see the website,
    Best Regards,

  2. Pingback: Breast Cancer Screening Series: Dr. Michael Linver - Cancer Knowledge Network

  3. Pingback: Breast Cancer Screening Series: Dr. Daniel Kopans - Cancer Knowledge Network

  4. Pingback: Breast Cancer Screening Series: Dr. Anthony Miller - Cancer Knowledge Network

  5. Pingback: Breast Cancer Screening Series: Dr. Ellen Warner - Cancer Knowledge Network

  6. Pingback: Breast Cancer Screening Series: Constantine Kaniklidis - Cancer Knowledge Network

  7. Pingback: Breast Cancer Screening Series: Khevin Barnes - Cancer Knowledge Network

  8. Breast Cancer screening debate – I am founder of patient advocacy, Breast Density Matters UK. I live in France. Last year I had my first ever mammogram; results normal, no abnormalities detected. However, due to one dense breast I received a procedural ultrasound which detected my small invasive tumour. Early detection. I had a lumpectomy & radiotherapy and avoided a mastectomy, reconstruction and chemotherapy. In the UK, my tumour would have been left undetected. Whilst I comprehend the ‘over-diagnosis’ & over-treatment debate; supplemental screening on dense breasts detects more cancers and reduces incidences of advanced staged cancers. A more positive health outcome for patients and potentially saving on treatment costs and saving lives. For this reason, I am compelled to raise awareness of breast density, particularly in the UK. Today, a public forum is being held in Brisbane, Australia where researchers/scientists are educating on dense breasts and the impact on health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.