(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
This is a counterpart to the more recent finding of even more abusive use of a worthless screening test for prostate cancer that I have recently posted about.
By Igor Volsky on Nov 23, 2012 at 11:17 am
Routine mammograms have caused more than a million U.S. women to receive “unnecessary and invasive cancer treatments over the last 30 years,” a new study finds, detecting tumors that are harmless. The results come after the government’s Preventive Task Force issued recommendations in 2009 advising primary care physicians against recommending mammograms to women under 40 years of age. Those guidelines stirred political outcry on both sides of the aisle and slowed down work on President Obama’s health care law.
But the study shines new doubt “over the effectiveness of an already controversial cancer screening tool that is aimed at detecting tumors before they spread and become more difficult to treat”:
Their analysis showed that, since mammograms became standard in the United States, the number of early-stage breast cancers detected has doubled – in recent years, doctors found tumors in 234 women out of 100,000. But in that same period, the rate of women diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer has dropped just eight percent – from 102 to 94 cases out of 100,000…
Igor doesn’t mention, probably because nobody bothered telling Igor, that there are some answers to better diagnosis. GE, Abbott Laboratories and Quest Diagnostics know all about it but they are saving money for the financial cliff we are throwing grandma off. Maybe they think it would depress the economy further if all the doctors and hospitals and suppliers, like themselves for instance, were further hurt by advanced testing.
Besides maybe some men think women look better without a breast or two. Mostly we men make the decisions you know.