Research revisits mammogram standards - Your West Valley News: Suncitywest

Research revisits mammogram standards

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 2:00 pm

For years, women have been urged to get screened for breast cancer because the earlier it’s found, the better. Now researchers are reporting more evidence suggesting that’s not always the case.

A study in Norway estimates that between 15 and 25 percent of breast cancers found by mammograms wouldn’t have caused any problems during a woman’s lifetime, but these tumors were being treated anyway. Once detected, early tumors are surgically removed and sometimes treated with radiation or chemotherapy because there’s no certain way to figure out which ones may be dangerous and which are harmless.

“When you look for cancer early and you look really hard, you find forms that are ultimately never going to bother the patient,” said Dr. H. Gilbert Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, who was not part of the research. “It’s a side effect of early diagnosis.”

The study is the latest to explore overdiagnosis from routine mammograms — finding tumors that grow so slowly or not at all and that would not have caused symptoms or death. Previous estimates of the problem have varied.

Interventional radiologist Dr. Steven Charney, the medical director of Banner Boswell Medical Center’s medical imaging department, said the study isn’t enough to bring about changes in the current process.

“This is one of the moral and ethical conundrums that’s never going to be solved,” Charney said. “Right now, I think this is one of those reports that is going to stir up a lot of controversy.

The central issue with the study, he said, is it doesn’t take into account that doctors have no way of knowing whether a tumor is deadly until it has been biopsied. It would be very difficult to tell a patient that they have a tumor, but it might not need treatment.

“Until I see other numbers and other studies, I doubt there will be any major changes,” Charney said, adding he’s waiting for more concrete evidence. “There’s not enough out there.”

Overall, Charney said, the study may be more of a disservice than a positive.

The researchers took advantage of the staggered decade-long introduction of a screening program in Norway, starting in 1996. That allowed them to compare the number of breast cancers in counties where screening was offered with those in areas that didn’t yet have the program. Their analysis also included a decade before mammograms were offered.

They estimated that for every 2,500 women offered screening, one death from breast cancer will be prevented but six to 10 women will be overdiagnosed and treated.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

Wild Horse West

Tell Us What You Think!

Loading…

Ballot measures explode across country

By Reid Wilson - Supporters of a California ballot measure to raise state taxes on cigarettes have collected more than $16 million in nine mon…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:48 am @ http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/289461-ballot…

Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Sues Arizona to Stop State From Defunding It

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are fighting back against another state law that could take taxpayer dollars away fr…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:45 am @ http://www.lifenews.com/2016/07/15/planned-parenth…

Which Pet Care Providers Should You Tip? And How Much?

I’m a dog sitter. Just this morning, a very well-behaved and loving Lab was picked up. He’s a regular client, and, like always, his dad slippe…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:46 am @ http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/which-pet-care-pr…

Monday is deadline to register to vote in Arizona primary

Monday is the last day to register to vote in Arizona's Aug. 30 primary election. Locations where citizens can register in person include coun…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 8:15 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/state/monday-is-deadline…

UN "Human Rights" Agitator Invited By Obama

After seventeen days of touring the United States, talking to racist agitators, including affiliates of the infamous Black Lives Matter, about…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 7:48 am @ http://rickwells.us/un-human-rights-agitator-blm-a…

Kurdistan's Forbidden Fruit: Homemade Wine

Print With Lamborghinis and Rooftop Sushi, Why Is Kurdistan Broke? Nabaz* carefully poured the red wine into one glass, then another, set the …

Published: July 30, 2016 - 6:47 am @ http://www.voanews.com/content/iraq-kurdistan-wine…

Literary Bad Boys

In preparation for Emily Bronte’s birthday, we’re thinking of Wuthering Heights’ quintessential romantic anti-hero: Heathcliff. In his honor, …

Published: July 30, 2016 - 6:23 am @ https://www.nypl.org/blog/2016/07/28/literary-bad-boys

Islamic State training 'next generation' fighters: Report

STEPS FOR DISABLING AD BLOCKERDriving in Canada Canada - a home away from home Canada, it's time to change! Living with a disability in Indo-C…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 5:53 am @ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Islami…

4 Zika Cases in Florida Were Likely Spread by Local Mosquitoes, C.D.C. Says

There are now more than 1,600 confirmed Zika cases in the continental United States. Until the announcement on Friday, all of them had been a …

Published: July 30, 2016 - 3:51 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/30/health/zika-viru…

Republican VP nominee Mike Pence to hold events in Arizona next week

PHOENIX — Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will hold two events in Arizona next week. Pence plans to hold town-hall style event…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 2:21 am @ http://ktar.com/story/1201470/republican-vp-nomine…

Facebook

YourWestValley.com on Facebook

Twitter

YourWestValley.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to YourWestValley.com via RSS

RSS Feeds