Dec 23, 2019
If breast cancer is detected early, it is very responsive to treatment—but the choice to get screened via mammogram, an x-ray picture of the breast, is an area of heated debate. Different governing bodies offer conflicting guidelines on when and how often to get a mammogram. In part I of our two-part series on mammography's effectiveness, former breast cancer surgeon and current epidemiologist Dr. Mette Kalagar explains the impact of mammography overdiagnosis, which is when mammograms find tumors that wouldn’t turn into harmful cancer if left undetected. Dr. Anthony Miller discusses the findings from his large randomized control screening trial, which followed almost 90,000 women for 25 years. The study concluded that annual mammograms did not cause a difference in breast cancer mortality for the mammography and control arms of the study.