News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Breast cancer screening programme targets women too soon

26 June 2014

Breast cancer screening programme targets women too soon: researchers

New Zealand should re-consider the age at which its breast cancer screening programme starts in light of growing questions about the balance of benefits and harms for women under 50, public health experts from the University of Otago Wellington say.

In two new posts on the Public Health Expert blog, the researchers examine the possibility that the balance of benefits and harms of breast cancer screening is much less favourable than previously thought due to over-detection of cancers and other issues.

Advances in breast cancer treatment since randomised control trials (RCTs) of screening in the 1970s and early 80s have been substantial, and consequently survival and mortality have improved considerably, they write.

The trials on which the mortality benefit is estimated from are increasingly old and many have flaws in them. However the degree to which the flaws invalidate the results is a source of disagreement among experts, they say.

“There is the possibility that improved treatments in the decades since the RCTS were conducted have altered the absolute benefit of screening - as mortality has reduced due to better treatment the importance of early diagnosis through screening may have lessened.”

The extent of over diagnosis - the key harm of breast cancer screening - is hotly contested, they say.

“It is not disputed that there is over diagnosis and over treatment, but the extent of and best way to measure over diagnosis are not clear.”

They write that screening in women under 50 is not recommended by any of the independent bodies who have reviewed the evidence and no screening programmes in the UK, Canada or Australia start at under 50.

“The balance of benefits and harms in this age group is not favourable. In New Zealand we need to stop screening women under 50 and start being more honest about the lack of clarity about the evidence for screening in older women.”

The blog posts are written by Dr Caroline Shaw and Associate Professor Diana Sarfati.

Full URLs:
https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/2014/06/23/we-need-to-talk-about-breast-cancer-screening-part-1/
https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/2014/06/26/we-need-to-talk-about-breast-cancer-screening-part-2/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news