July 29, 2011

DON'T TRY TELLING THAT TO THE CONSUMERS:

Cancer checks 'have little impact' (Evening Standard, 29 Jul 2011)

Breast cancer screening has had little impact on falling death rates from the disease, according to new research.

Experts compared data from three pairs of European countries and found the countries within each pair experienced a similar fall in death rates.

This was despite a gap of 10 to 15 years between the countries in implementing a breast cancer screening programme.

Northern Ireland was compared with the Republic of Ireland, while the Netherlands was compared with Belgium, and Sweden with Norway.

From 1989 to 2006, deaths from breast cancer decreased by 29% in Northern Ireland and by 26% in the Republic of Ireland, according to the study, published in the British Medical Journal. Deaths also fell by 25% in the Netherlands and by 20% in Belgium and 25% in Flanders. Sweden deaths were down 16% compared to 24% in Norway.

The researchers, who analysed data on deaths from the World Health Organisation database, concluded: "Countries of each pair had similar healthcare services and prevalence of risk factors for breast cancer mortality but differing implementation of mammography screening, with a gap of about 10 to 15 years. The contrast between the time differences in implementation of mammography screening and the similarity in reductions in mortality between the country pairs suggest that screening did not play a direct part in the reductions in breast cancer mortality."


Posted by at July 29, 2011 6:47 AM
  

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