A breast cancer awareness debate by a investigate advocacy organisation Susan G. Komen for a Cure farfetched a advantage that mammograms have on presence rates of women with breast cancer, researchers contend in a new editorial.
Komen’s messages in a 2011 debate settled that 98 percent of women who get a screening tests tarry during slightest 5 years, while 23 percent of women who do not get mammograms survive that prolonged — a disproportion of 75 commission points.
In an online editorial in a British Medical Journal, however, dual researchers disagree that randomized tranquil trials have shown mammograms reduce a risk of failing from a illness by distant less. For example, among those with breast cancer who are in their 60s, a risk of failing over a 10-year duration is reduced from 83 percent to 56 percent — a disproportion of 27 commission points.
“The ad debate doesn’t benefaction screening as a genuine choice — it suggests you’d have to be crazy or foolish not to get screened,” pronounced editorial author Dr. Steven Woloshin, a highbrow during Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine. Whether or not to get screened is indeed a “genuine decision, given there are advantages and harms,” Woloshin said.
A Komen orator shielded a debate statements. “The numbers are not in question. Early showing allows for early treatment, that gives women a best possibility of flourishing breast cancer,” Komen clamp boss Chandini Portteus said.
The reasons for screening
Woloshin called either to get screened a personal preference that should be formed on factors including age and family history. For example, younger women are reduction expected to have breast cancer in general, yet those with a clever family story of a illness competence wish to be screened earlier.
Screening has been compared with a diminution in mankind due to breast cancer, yet a diminution is not as thespian as Komen suggested, pronounced Harvard Medical School radiologist Dr. Daniel Kopans.
Randomized control trials have found, in general, that screening reduces a series of lives mislaid to breast cancer by approximately 30 percent, pronounced Kopans. In a U.S., deaths due to breast cancer also have decreased by about 30 percent given screening was instated in a 1980s.
“Thirty percent fewer women die any year from breast cancer than would have yet screening,” Kopans said, observant that partial of this advantage is due to improvements in treatments for progressing stages of a disease. “Therapy saves lives when we find cancer early,” he said.
Still, critics of mammograms say they can furnish fake alarms that lead to nonessential biopsies.Portteus’ reply: “Everyone agrees that mammography isn’t perfect, yet it’s a best widely accessible showing apparatus that we have today.”
A dubious advertisement
Komen’s debate was promoted final Oct and was designed and saved by a Komen foundation, that has lifted over $1.9 billion for breast cancer awareness, investigate and support to patients.
Woloshin and his co-author, Lisa M Schwartz of Dartmouth, disagree that a presence statistics used to support a Koman summary about screening were misleading. This was a “disingenuous illustration of statistics,” Woloshin said, given screening adds a “lead time” between when cancer is found and when it becomes dangerous.
For instance, a authors wrote, cruise a organisation of women who aren’t screened yet find a breast pile during age 67, and are subsequently diagnosed. If these women all die during age 70, their five-year presence rate is 0 percent. Now suppose another organisation of women, who were screened and diagnosed with breast cancer during age 64. If these women also all die during age 70, their five-year presence rate is 100 percent — even yet both groups lived to a same age.
Organizations pulling cancer screening “have their work cut out for them,” Kopans said. “They’re perplexing to remonstrate women to take a exam that nobody wants to take.” In this box Komen exaggerated, he said.
The problem of overdiagnosis
The emanate of screening is serve done argumentative by a problem of overdiagnosis: Some women are treated with chemotherapy or medicine even yet their cancers would never turn dangerous or impact their lives, Woloshin said.
Randomized control trials have found that overdiagnosis occurs in 1 percent to 10 percent of screening cases, Kopans said. He said, however, this risk is value a series of lives that are eventually saved by screening.
Women should bottom their decisions on either to be screened by weighing a contribution and consulting with their doctors, Woloshin said. The Komen website does yield accurate information on a advantages and harms of screening, he said.
Woloshin pronounced he hopes Komen reconsiders their use of statistics if they run a identical ad debate this October.
The paper was published currently (August 2) in a British Medical Journal.
Pass it on: Getting mammograms decreases mortality.
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