Breast cancer screening does not reduce mortality
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Fewer and fewer women die from breast cancer in recent years but, surprisingly, the decline is just as large in the age groups that are not screened. The decline is therefore due to better treatment and not screening for breast cancer.

This is shown by a major Danish-Norwegian study, Effect of organised mammography screening on breast cancer mortality: A populationbased cohort study in Norway, which has just been published in the scientific journal International Journal of Cancer.

In the study, the researchers followed all Norwegian women aged 30-89 and identified those who developed breast cancer in the period 1987-2010, before subsequently comparing the number of deaths before and after the screening programme was introduced.

As Associate Professor Henrik Støvring from Aarhus University, Denmark, notes, the result does not favour the breast cancer screening programme. This conclusion can also be transferred directly to Denmark (and elsewhere), where all women aged 50-69 are offered mammography screening – which is an X-ray examination of the chest – every second year. The Danish screening programme was progressively introduced from the early 1990s and was offered nationally to everyone from 2007, three years after the Norwegians, who have supplied data for the Danish-Norwegian research

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