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Home Industry News Breast cancer screening ‘is saving women’s lives’

Breast cancer screening ‘is saving women’s lives’

1st April 2010

Research on breast cancer screening has shown it is making a positive impact and saving lives, with two women saved for every one who receives potentially unnecessary treatment.

The study from scientists at Queen Mary, University of London, disputed claims made in recent months that the potential risks of screening were doing more harm than good.

Research involved a randomised trial in Sweden which compared the number of cancer deaths between women who were screened and those who were not, while another study predicted the number of cancer deaths in the UK if the screening programme had not been introduced.

Stephen Duffy, professor of cancer screening at Queen Mary’s Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, conceded that the current screening methods are not flawless, but defended the existence of the system.

He said: “This [study] shows that the benefits of screening outweigh the harms.”

Dr Alexis Willett, head of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, agreed with this conclusion, stating that screening is essential to detect the presence of the disease before any symptoms manifest themselves.

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