A recent (2012) report on mammography has been released listing the benefits and harm from mammography screening. The report is from the Cochrane Collaboration which is an independent organization that looks at medical research. They are non-profit and are not connected with drug companies or other special interest groups. (That is a very important point). They published some information in 2001 that raised questions about mammography but it is still recommended by most doctors and the American Cancer Society. This new report has concluded again that there is no reduction in deaths from breast cancer as a result of mammography.
Here is a listing of the benefits and harms of mammography from the report.
Among 2,000 women undergoing annual mammography for 10 years:
200 will experience a false alarm (psychological strain)
Here is an interesting quote from Peter Gotzsche, Director of the Nordic Cochrane Center, “Our finding of increased mastectomies has consistently been ignored by screening advocates for 10 years, and information from many cancer charities and governmental agencies continues to state the opposite — that screening decreases mastectomies — despite having no reliable data to support this claim.”
He also said, “It is now essential that women be provided with information that allows them to make an informed choice about mammographic screening, rather than being pushed toward mammography as routine, while being told it is an unambiguously beneficial test.”
The report is a 15 page leaflet. If you would like to read that report I will be glad to email it to you.