Mammographic screening: no reliable supporting evidence?

Lancet. 2002 Feb 2;359(9304):404-5. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)07592-X.


Much confusion is being generated by the conclusion of a recent review that "there is no reliable evidence that screening for breast cancer reduces mortality." In that review, however, there was no appreciation of the appropriate mortality-related measure of screening's usefulness; and correspondingly, there was no estimation of the magnitude of this measure. We take this measure to be the proportional reduction in case-fatality rate, and studied its magnitude on the basis of the only valid and otherwise suitable trial. We found reliable evidence of fatality reduction, apparently substantial in magnitude.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results