Researchers have claimed that breast cancer screening has had ‘little’ impact on saving lives of women.
The researchers said the improvements in survival against the disease, in recent years, are more likely because of treatment advances rather than X-ray checks.
Philippe Autier, of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, who led the new study, said: ‘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 ten 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.’
Professor Julietta Patnick, director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, said, ‘The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that there is a 35 per cent reduction in mortality from breast cancer among screened women aged 50- to 69-years-olds; and in England, the independent Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening estimates breast screening saves 1,400 lives each year.’