Fewer and fewer women die from breast cancer in recent years, but, surprisingly, the reduction is as great in the age groups that do not pass diagnostics. Therefore, the reduction is due to improved treatment and not to the diagnosis of breast cancer.
This is evidenced by a large Danish-Norwegian research "Effect of organized mammography screening on mortality from breast cancer: a population-based cohort study in Norway", which is published in the scientific journal International Journal of Cancer.
In the study, researchers studied Norwegian women aged 30-89 years and identified those who developed breast cancer during the period of 1987-2010 years before then was compared the number of deaths before and after the screening program was shown.
As noted by Associate Professor Henrik Stovring from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, the result does not contribute to the program of diagnosis of breast cancer. This conclusion can also be transferred directly to Denmark (and elsewhere), where all women aged 50-69 years old is offered a mammogram - which is X-rays. Danish diagnostics program gradually introduced since the early 1990s and was offered at the national level for all of 2007, three years after the Norwegians, who provided data for the Danish-Norwegian research project.
"An important result is that we no longer find a favorable effect on breast cancer diagnosis. The original randomized studies on the diagnosis of breast, were held back in the 1980s, and they showed the effect, but the fact is that the best treatments are, the less effective screening, "- says Henrik Stovring.
Diagnosis does not lead to the fact that women live longer in general - and this is the most important conclusion of the study.
But women are not always useful to diagnose a tiny cancerous growth, for example, a millimeter in diameter with a mammogram. Some of these small nodules grow so slowly that a woman would have died of so-called natural death from undiagnosed cancer.
Over-diagnosis, which is a growing problem in all western countries, where the approach to medicine and the diagnosis is extensive and where widespread national screening program. The problem, which was discussed last week in Copenhagen, Denmark, where 450 researchers from thirty countries participated in the conference "Preventing Peredignostiki 2018".