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Review: adequately randomised trials showed that mammography screening did not significantly reduce breast cancer, cancer, or all cause mortality but increased breast surgeries

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Q Does screening for breast cancer with mammography reduce morbidity and mortality?


Embedded ImageData sources:

PubMed (June 2005) and review of reference lists.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared mammography screening with no mammography screening in women without previously diagnosed breast cancer. 7 trials met the selection criteria; 2 had adequate randomisation, 4 had sub-optimal randomisation, and 1 was not adequately randomised. Separate analyses were done for adequately and sub-optimally randomised trials.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

breast cancer mortality, cancer mortality, all cause mortality, surgical interventions, and adjuvant therapy.


Meta-analysis showed …

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  • For correspondence: Dr P Gøtzsche, Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark. pcg{at}

  • Source of funding: Danish Institute for Health Technology Assessment.