Breast cancer study stirs controversy

Posted at: 02/12/2014 4:08 PM
Updated at: 02/13/2014 4:28 PM
By: WNYT Staff

There's controversy over a Canadian study that found annual mammograms don't reduce breast cancer deaths among middle aged women.

Researchers compared breast cancer diagnosis and death rates among women aged 40 to 59.

They were split into two groups. Women who got yearly mammograms and women who didn't.

The women in both groups got annual physical breast exams or usual women's care.

Five years later, the mammogram group had a similar number of breast cancer diagnoses and deaths as the non-mammogram group.

However, some health experts say the study is bogus.

Breast cancer screening with mammography had only just begun in the 1980s when the study was performed.

They argue the technicians weren't trained in positioning and the doctors weren't properly trained how to read the mammograms.