Towards a rebalancing of mammography’s harms and benefits

By Dr ME Costanza

How Harmful is Screening Mammography in 2016?

The recent release of the 2015 breast cancer screening guidelines of the United States Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) [1] and subsequent articles [2-4] and press coverage have generally underlined the harmful effects of screening mammography while downplaying its positive effects. The major harms include
‘overdiagnosis’ of cancer and ‘overtreatment’ of nonthreatening disease, false-positive diagnoses and attendant unneeded medical interventions.