Overdiagnosis overblown?

Last week, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine added fuel to the fire in the contentious debate surrounding overdiagnosis in mammography screening by showing U.S. counties with higher mammography utilization had no fewer deaths from breast cancer, but more small and precancerous tumors were identified. As anyone who has followed this discussion in recent years might expect, there has been some pushback.

A couple days after the JAMA IM study was published, Forbes contributor Elaine Schattner, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, took aim at the study’s conclusions, saying it continued the recent “statistical assault on breast cancer screening.” Schattner noted that by including ductal carcinoma in situ in the study, the authors raised the apparent rate of breast cancers found and diluted the potential mortality reduction after detection. She also noted that all mammograms in the study were performed before 2000, which means results may not be the same with today’s updated technology.

To read all of Schattner’s column about the study, check out the link below: