It's been a big day for screening discussions. Screening: good! No--screening bad! Depends on who's doing the evaluations of risk/benefit, it seems.
Top stories: Mammography guidelines questioned, so-called pediatricians jumping on anti-vaccine bandwagon, and the sour news on Vitamin D, again.
Major study of screening mammography confirms what we have been told, over and over: routine screening for breast cancer saves few (if any) lives and the costs financial, medical and emotional are huge.
In recent years a surprising amount of the orthodoxy of modern medicine has been challenged, and this has resulted in some counterintuitive, even surprising findings. For example, the PSA test for detecting prostate cancer is so flawed that some healthcare professionals are in favor of doing away with it entirely. The primary reason: too many false positives, leading to unnecessary (and very invasive) procedures, with very few lives actually saved.
Most breast cancer deaths occurred among women who had not been screened, and the median age of diagnosis was 49-50. The authors say this calls for more frequent and younger age for mammograms to start.