Mammograms Less Effective Than Thought

The chance that a woman with breast cancer actually avoided death because of mammography screening is lower than previously thought—likely to be below 10 percent, according to a report published by Archives of Internal Medicine. The study, by physicians at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, suggests that the benefits of mammograms might be inflated, which could lead to overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and unwarranted screening. The study did not deny that cancer screening can be tremendously beneficial, but cautioned that they might not always provide the expected benefits, and could cause harm as well.