Next Article in Journal
The Hemostasis Apparatus in Pancreatic Cancer and Its Importance beyond Thrombosis
Next Article in Special Issue
Why Victory in the War on Cancer Remains Elusive: Biomedical Hypotheses and Mathematical Models
Previous Article in Journal
Targeting Apoptosis Signaling in Pancreatic Cancer
Previous Article in Special Issue
Surgery as a Double-Edged Sword: A Clinically Feasible Approach to Overcome the Metastasis-Promoting Effects of Surgery by Blunting Stress and Prostaglandin Responses
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Cancers 2011, 3(1), 252-266; doi:10.3390/cancers3010252

Rational and Irrational Issues in Breast Cancer Screening

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, Ste 576, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 3M7, Canada
Received: 15 December 2010 / Revised: 3 January 2011 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 11 January 2011
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [141 KB, uploaded 11 January 2011]


Evidence on the efficacy of breast screening from randomized controlled trials conducted in the last decades of the 1900s is reviewed. For decades, controversy about their results has centered on the magnitude of benefit in terms of breast cancer mortality reduction that can be achieved. However more recently, several expert bodies have estimated the benefits to be smaller than initially expected and concerns have been raised about screening consequences such as over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment. Trials with substantial mortality reduction have been lauded and others with null effects have been critiqued. Critiques of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study are refuted. Extreme responses by screening advocates to the United States Preventive Services Task Force 2009 guidelines are described. The role vested interests play in determining health policy is clearly revealed in the response to the guidelines and should be more generally known. A general reluctance to explore unexpected results or to accept new paradigms is briefly discussed.
Keywords: breast screening; screening mammography; randomized controlled trials breast screening; screening mammography; randomized controlled trials
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Baines, C.J. Rational and Irrational Issues in Breast Cancer Screening. Cancers 2011, 3, 252-266.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Cancers EISSN 2072-6694 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top