Researchers See Little Effect from Breast Cancer Screening

24 March 2010 (Last Updated March 24th, 2010 18:30)

There is little evidence that screening women for breast cancer may save lives, according to researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark. Researchers said that there is little or no difference in breast cancer death rates between screening areas and non-screening regions where

There is little evidence that screening women for breast cancer may save lives, according to researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark.

Researchers said that there is little or no difference in breast cancer death rates between screening areas and non-screening regions where no women had been screened.

The Nordic Cochrane Center's Karsten Jorgensen, who led the research, said for every 2,000 women who are screened over ten years, only one stands to have her life saved by the mammogram programme.

Jorgensen also said the risk of an unnecessary breast cancer diagnosis was also ten times higher, according to Reuters.

The study published in the British Medical Journal found that breast cancer mortality fell 1% a year in screened areas among Danish women aged 55–74 and by 2% in non-screened areas.

In women too young to benefit from screening (aged 35–54), breast cancer death rates fell by 5% per year in the screened regions and by 6% per year in the non-screened regions.