Following the news that hundreds of women missed out on having routine mammograms due to an NHS oversight, the process has been under scrutiny with different opinions on how effective/harmful they are.
Breast cancer screening scandal: Doctors warn against catch up scans
In an open letter, 15 medical professionals claim the breast screening programme “causes more unintended harm than good”.
Women who did not undergo routine breast cancer screening because of a computer glitch should not attend catch-up appointments, a group of doctors say.
They are being told to “carry on with their lives” as the programme can do “more harm than good”.
In a letter published in The Times, 15 medical professionals including GPs and university professors said women aged 70 to 79 who have been offered the checks “would be well advised to look this gift horse in the mouth” and should only seek medical help if they notice symptoms.
The letter, which includes the signatures of Susan Bewley, professor of women’s health at King’s College London, and Michael Baum, professor emeritus of surgery at University College London, warns that women should not be subjected to worry or “fear-mongering”.
More harm than good
The doctors write: “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.”
Obviously it’s up to you to decide whether or not to go the mammogram route. Just make sure you read all the pros and cons before you make a decision. Other options to detect breast cancer include breast self-examinations, physical breast exams by a doctor, ultrasound, MRI, thermography, and other tests that may be ordered by your doctor.