A great deal of attention and resources have focused on the area of early detection. A mantra that has been drummed into our consciousness over the past forty years is that early detection saves lives. The reality is otherwise. About 70% of women in this country over age 40 have had a mammogram in the last two years. The evidence of a mortality reduction from screening is conflicting and continues to be questioned by some scientists, policy makers, and members of the public. The analyses to date of all randomized controlled trials for mammography have concluded marginal benefit (Gotzsche, 2011; USPSTF, 2009).
For more information, read NBCC's position paper on mammography screening.
Gotzsche PC, Nielsen M. Screening for breast cancer with mammography. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;1:CD001877.
Screening for breast cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. Nov 17 2009;151(10):716-726, W-236.