Perspective Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board

“Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board.” By Nikola Biller-Andorno, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Jüni, M.D., The New England Journal of Medicine.

In January 2013, the Swiss Medical Board, an independent health technology assessment initiative under the auspices of the Conference of Health Ministers of the Swiss Cantons, the Swiss Medical Association, and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, was mandated to prepare a review of mammography screening. The two of us, a medical ethicist and a clinical epidemiologist, were members of the expert panel that appraised the evidence and its implications. The other members were a clinical pharmacologist, an oncologic surgeon, a nurse scientist, a lawyer, and a health economist. As we embarked on the project, we were aware of the controversies that have surrounded mammography screening for the past 10 to 15 years. When we reviewed the available evidence and contemplated its implications in detail, however, we became increasingly concerned.

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