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Lessons From the Swiss Medical Board Recommendation Against Mammography Screening Programs
Jama Internal Medicine
IUMSP2014/10, pdf : Viewpoint
When the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2009 recommended against universal breast cancer screening with mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years, some scientists, radiologists, politicians, and patients strongly objected. The controversy has been called the "mammography wars." The latest chapter in these wars comes from the Swiss Medical Board, which is mandated by the Conference of Health Ministers of the Swiss Cantons, the Swiss Medical Association, and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences to conduct health technology assessments. In a February 2014 report, the Swiss Medical Board stated that new systematic mammography screening programs should not be introduced, irrespective of the age of the women, and that existing programs should be discontinued. The board's main argument was that the absolute reduction in breast cancer mortality was low and that the adverse consequences of the screening were substantial. The absolute risk reduction in breast cancer mortality has been estimated by the board at 0.16% for women screened during 6.2 years and followed-up over 13 years, based on the results of a recent Cochrane Review. The adverse consequences include falsepositive test results, overdiagnosis and overtreatment of patients, and high costs, including the expense of follow-up testing and procedures.
Switzerland, Breast neoplasms, Mammography Screening
Web of science
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