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Controversy of mammograms

In the July edition of Patient Safety America Newsletter, Dr. John T. James wrote on the benefit of mammograms for women with risk factors for breast cancer. But James explained that the Swiss Medical Board found no evidence of life-saving value for such screening.

Here is James’ complete article from the newsletter:

The controversy regarding screening for breast cancer continues unabated. The latest salvo involves the decision by the Swiss Medical Board that the preponderance of evidence shows no life-saving value of such screening. Two experts involved in the Board’s decision wrote a defense of that decision in the New England Journal of Medicine. The medical board itself is not a governmental agency, so its decisions are not binding; however, this expert group came down convincingly on the side of no screening, and they feel that women need to be told this, and women are not being told this. Furthermore, it is unethical, in their opinion (and mine) to promote a procedure that has not clearly demonstrated more benefits than risks. One thing that seems not to be emphasized in the dialogue – and I will emphasize it here – women with risk factors for breast cancer are much more likely to benefit from screening than women with no risk factors.”

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