Now to be clear, when there are other indications or suspicions, a mammography generally is worthwhile. But more and more research suggests that routine screening is of questionable value.
NY Times reporter Gina Bari Kolata covers the latest British Medical Journal entry in this discussion:
“Study adds new doubts about value of Mammograms”
One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age.
It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. And the screening had harms — one out of five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman’s health and did not need treatment like chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.