Breast cancer screening pamphlets mislead women

“The Art of Risk Communication: Breast cancer screening pamphlets mislead women” by Gerd Gigerenzer, British Medical Journal.

“All women and women’s organisations should tear up the pink ribbons and campaign for honest information.”

Why should I have mammography? That question is regularly asked in pamphlets for screening. The answer is also regularly misleading. Women are told what they should do, but without being given the facts necessary to make informed decisions. This form of paternalism has a long tradition. In a campaign poster in the 1980s, the American Cancer Society declared: “If you haven’t had a mammogram, you need more than your breasts examined.” As a result of paternalism and pink ribbon culture, almost all women have a false impression of the benefit of mammography screening.

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