Karsten Juhl Jørgensen, MD, DrMedSci, Deputy Director, The Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Breast cancer screening has been disputed for many years. The origin of the dispute is the conflicting results reached by the nine original randomised breast screening trials. One of these trials estimated a 42% reduction in breast cancer mortality while others estimated no reduction, or only a smaller benefit . The most important harm is also disputed. As for prostate cancer screening, there is now general agreement that breast screening leads to the detection of some tumors that would not have been detected or caused health problems in the absence of screening [2,3,4]. The dispute relates to how many such overdiagnosed tumors there are.