Nuanced balance is not easily communicated on latest mammography study

“Nuanced balance is not easily communicated on latest mammography study” by Gary Schwitzer, Health News Review.

A Systematic Assessment of Benefits and Risks to Guide Breast Cancer Screening Decisions” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors wrote:

“Mammography screening appears to be associated with reduced breast cancer mortality, but for some patients, the harms may outweigh the benefits. Until better screening methods are available, improved understanding of these harms, enhanced strategies to identify the highest-risk patients, and tools to help patients and clinicians incorporate these in their decisions should be research priorities.”

In an accompanying editorial, Drs. Joann Elmore and Barnett Kramer write that the “nuanced balance is not easily communicated.” Health News Review points out that such miscommunication is especially rampant media headlines and from groups that have vested interests in the promotion of screening.

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Related: “Time to debunk the mammography myth” by Gayle Sulik and Bonnie Spanier, CNN, Mar. 18, 2014.

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