Breast cancer screening is one of the most promoted medical “saviors” of our time. Almost every doctor and family member and friend will tell you that passing on these screenings is dangerous stuff. Most of the big breast cancer awareness promotions revolved around the concept of “getting screened.” The claim is that early detection saves lives.
But does “getting screened” for breast cancer actually help protect a woman’s health?
According to 15 health experts interviewed by The Times, the answer is a resounding “no.” And furthermore, they claim that the entire pitch is based on “fear-mongering” and that women should “carry on with their lives.” They also said that these routine breast cancer screenings may “do more harm than good.”
Essentially, these experts gave breast cancer screening a real lashing.
The new claims follow fallout after the UK’s Health Secretary claimed that 250 women died because of a A computer glitch – a glitch which is being blamed for the deaths of 250 women. The computer glitch caused almost a half a million women to miss their routine screenings.
The 15 experts say that women in their 70’s should pass on screenings unless they notice a lump or other symptoms.
“[They] would be well advised to look this gift horse in the mouth,” one expert stated.
“The breast screening programme mostly causes more unintended harm than good, which is slowly being recognised internationally.
“Many women and doctors now avoid breast screening because it has no impact on all-cause death.”
The experts claim that most life-threatening cancers aren’t found in screening processes.
“Although counter-intuitive, catching some things that look like cancer down a microscope (before it exists) can be too early and unnecessary.”
The brass tacks come down to a simple metric. The NHS has estimated that one life out of every 200 women is saved by screening. But here’s the rub – three out of every 200 women are misdiagnosed during the same screening processes, which means 4,000 women annually are put through needless medical procedures.
According to BBC.
Dr Emma Pennery, clinical director at Breast Cancer Care, agreed that screening “remains our best tool” for detecting breast cancer early, but added: “There are two sides to the coin and it’s estimated that for every life saved, three women will have unnecessary treatment.”
One thing is for sure, breast cancer screening programs remain a controversial undertaking.