• Glenn Wilson

    When women are fully informed about the risks and benefits of mammograms, 70% may choose not to get screened, but you may be in that 30%, and have a right to decide for yourself.

    Dr. Greger: “For nearly a century, public health organizations, professional associations, patient advocacy groups, academics, and clinicians largely viewed cancer screening as a simple, safe way to save lives.” But these days, even though we’re all looking at the same body of evidence, “[d]iffering interpretations about [the] benefits and harms of [mammograms] has led to conflicting recommendations…that range from intensive [annual] screening starting at age 40 to no [routine] screening at all [ever].” Currently, the four main groups in the U.S. “charged with making [mammogram] recommendations” each set contradictory guidelines. So, what’s a woman to do?

    Well, the guidelines are based on “systematic reviews” of the evidence. “In the last 15 years, 50 [such] reviews…have been published,” but they don’t all reach the same conclusions. The question is why? It turns out that the conclusions of systematic reviews may have been influenced by competing conflicts of “interests of the authors.”

    “[O]nly in health care [does] the same group that provides a service also [tell] us how valuable that service is and how much of it we need… We must [sadly] acknowledge that just as in any other profession or industry, self-interest is unavoidably at work…” In an analysis of more than a hundred papers, the “imbalance” in those that tended “to emphasize the major benefits of mammography…over its major harms [was] related to the authors’ affiliation.”

    Continue at NutritionFacts: Mammogram Recommendations: Why the Conflicting Guidelines?

    Maybe you prefer to read the transcript instead of watching this video? To see the full transcript or links to cited sources go to the link above, then scroll below the video and click on View Transcript or Sources Cited. This is part 2 of a 14 part series. Other videos in this series are listed in the Doctor's Note below the video.

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