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Carol Milgard Breast Center’s Position on Recent Mammography Screening Study

A recent publication in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), analyzing the results of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study (CNBSS), questioned the efficacy of mammography screening. The authors concluded that screening mammography does not decrease the risk of dying from breast cancer and raised concerns about overdiagnosis, finding lesions that do not require treatment.

What is not widely known to the public and the lay press is that the Canadian Study has significant critical flaws and has been consistently discredited by the scientific community. These flaws include substandard mammography equipment, using technologists who were not properly trained to do the exams, having the exams interpreted by radiologists not trained to read mammography, having patients who were not randomized properly in the study thus introducing significant bias into the study. These and other fundamental flaws raised significant concerns about the validity of the Canadian Study and the analysis of the recent BMJ publication.

In Pierce County alone, had we followed the recommendations of the BMJ study over the last 5 years, hundreds of cancers would not have been detected and lives would have been lost. We at the Carol Milgard Breast Center, along with many other organizations such as the American Cancer Society, strongly believe in the value of annual screening mammography beginning at age 40.

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