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Cancer patients 'over-diagnosed'

The UK breast screening programme may be damaging more women's lives than it saves and should be scrapped, according to a professor.

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Breast cancer screening 'leads to overdiagnosis'

  • The NHS Breast Cancer Screening Programme was launched in the UK in 1988 and invites all women aged between 50 and 70 to screening every three years.
  • There has been an ongoing debate about the benefits and harms of screening for the past 10 years.
  • An independent panel was tasked with analysing data from screening trials from a number of countries over recent decades.
  • Its report concludes that screening reduces breast cancer mortality but that some overdiagnosis occurs.
  • It found that for every life saved, three women were overdiagnosed.

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