Gooz News summarizes an article on the USPSTF recommendation on mammography from the evidence-based medicine group at Dartmouth. It is part of a group of commentaries on the topic in the Journal of the American Medical Association — you need subscription or access via a library.
- Without screening, 3.5 of 1000 women in their 40s will die of breast cancer over the next 10 years (ie, 996.5 of 1000 will not die of the disease).
- Screening reduces the chance of breast cancer death from 3.5 to about 3 of 1000. In other words, 2000 women between 40 and 49 must be screened annually for the following ten years to save one life.
- For most women with cancer, screening generally does not change the ultimate outcome; the cancer usually is just as treatable or just as deadly regardless of screening.
While the Dartmouth folks support the recommendations, JAMA also features pieces that question the task force findings, including a piece from Johns Hopkins.