Mammograms may not reduce breast cancer deaths

Breast cancer screenings may not lead to fewer deaths but may lead to overdiagnosis, U.S. researchers suggest.

In areas of the US with high levels of screening, more tumors were diagnosed – but breast cancer death rates were no lower than in areas with fewer screenings, researchers report.

“The most dramatic finding of our study is the immediately evident – and substantial – evidence of breast cancer overdiagnosis,” he told Reuters Health in an email.

Each year, about 230,000 US women are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

While screening guidelines vary, the government-backed US Preventive Services Task Force says average-risk women should have.