“Ignoring the Science on Mammograms. By David H. Newman MD, The New York Times Well Blog

Last week The New England Journal of Medicine published a study with the potential to change both medical practice and public consciousness about mammograms. Published on Thanksgiving Day, the research examined more than 30 years of United States health statistics to determine, through observation, if screening mammography has reduced breast cancer deaths. The researchers found that, as expected, the introduction of mammogram screening led to an increase in the number of breast cancers detected at an early stage. But importantly, the number of cancers diagnosed at the advanced stage was essentially unchanged. If mammograms were really finding deadly cancers sooner (as suggested by the rise in early detection), then cases of advanced cancer should have been reduced in kind. But that didn’t happen. In other words, the researchers concluded, mammograms didn’t work.


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