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  • Maggy Carter
    May 14, 2013 - 15:30

    Several studies have concluded that mammography screening not only does not save lives, but that it might actually lead to misdiagnosis and over-treatment of women who were not at risk of dying from the disease. Early detection achieves nothing if it doesn't alter the final outcome, or if oncologists can't tell whether the cancers detected are life threatening. Studies also suggest that the rate of false positives from mammography screening is as high as 70%, and that false negatives are up to 40%. What does that mean? Well it could mean that women who are screened have a 70% chance of being told they have something that could be cancer when they do not, and a 40% chance of being told they have nothing to worry about when in fact they do. Add to that the cost and the stress and unnecessary grief associated with mammograms. Mammograms, of course, are just one example of a widespread belief in early and frequent testing for all kinds of diseases and medical conditions in this country. Not only has this public health care model of constant, expensive testing not produced a healthier Canadian populace, it has undoubtedly given many people a false sense of security and encouraged lifestyle choices that are proven to be detrimental to good health.