Mammogram Study Getting Criticized - FOX 35 News Orlando

Mammogram Study Getting Criticized

Posted: Updated:

One of the largest mammography studies ever done is already getting criticized. 90,000 women in Canada were followed for years. Half were tested with mammograms, half were not. The death rate among breast cancer victims was the same in both groups, leading to headlines like "Vast Study Casts Doubts on Value of Mammography" ( New York Times).

But there are serious problems with the Canadian study, say doctors, including cancer specialist, Dr.Deanna Attai, in Burbank. "First, there is the issue of the equipment" she says. They used mammogram equipment that is outdated, not what we use today.

There's also the criticism that it's not a blinded study, as scientists would explain. The women who were supposed to be " randomly" tested, where examined by doctors before they decided what women would get mammograms. That's not random.

Then, there is the issue of death rates. They have dramatically decreased, among breast cancer patients, due to better treatment, including drugs like tamoxifen. So, to researchers looking at death rates as the final positive result in their studies, it's not as "important that women get diagnosed early, if they are going to survive anyway".

"If I were diagnosed" adds Dr. Attai, " I'd want to know as soon as possible, regardless of a death rate, it has to do with quality of life".

It comes down to free access to information. Do women want to know as soon as possible? Probably, even if it's the type of lump that may end up not being cancerous? Most likely. The option to do anything about it, is the issue. The concern is that insurance companies may take these studies as tools to reduce payments for what they might call"unnecessary" tests, like mammograms.

The study is in the British Medical Journal, if you want to read it. Dr Richard Wender, chief of cancer control at the American Cancer Society says they are reviewing all studies on mammography and will have better guidelines this year.

Their studies seem to indicate there is definitely a reduction of breast cancer deaths among women over 40, with early mammogram detection. You can go to their website for more information.

  • Health NewsMore>>

  • Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Kids and Cell Phone Dangers

    Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Kids and Cell Phone Dangers

    Monday, August 25 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-08-25 15:50:02 GMT

    There's a lot of talk about kids and cell phones, particularly the potential harm from microwave radiation. Doctor Sonu Ahluwalia is here with some of the medical topics making the news.

    There's a lot of talk about kids and cell phones, particularly the potential harm from microwave radiation. Doctor Sonu Ahluwalia is here with some of the medical topics making the news.


  • Julie Chang Helps Raise Awareness, Joins The LA Tumor Walk

    Julie Chang Helps Raise Awareness, Joins The LA Tumor Walk

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:12 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:12:44 GMT
    What a difference a year makes! It was only 9 months ago that our own Julie Chang had a benign brain tumor removed. Since then, she got married and is now expecting a little one in December! To pass her blessings forward, she'll be participating in the annual LA Tumor Walk.
    What a difference a year makes! It was only 9 months ago that our own Julie Chang had a benign brain tumor removed. Since then, she got married and is now expecting a little one in December! To pass her blessings forward, she'll be participating in the annual LA Tumor Walk.
  • Sacramento Hospital Patient Being Tested For Ebola Virus

    Sacramento Hospital Patient Being Tested For Ebola Virus

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:10 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:10:29 GMT
    A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is being tested at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. The patient is being kept in an isolated negative pressure room while specialists work to confirm or rule out an Ebola infection.
    A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is being tested at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. The patient is being kept in an isolated negative pressure room while specialists work to confirm or rule out an Ebola infection.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices