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

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news