Academics and doctors disagree on mammographic screening

Australian clinicians and academics are divided over a study that suggests mammographic screening for breast cancer does not reduce mortality and leads to overdiagnosis.

The US ecological study of rates of screening and outcomes across 16 million women shows a 10% increase in screening is associated with 16% more breast cancer diagnoses but no change in breast cancer deaths over a decade.

While Sydney public health Professor Alexandra Barratt says the findings add to evidence of overdiagnosis, some clinicians are concerned about a potential campaign against screening.