According to the British Medical Journal, the experts overestimate the positive effect of breast cancer screening and ignore the risks associated with it.
The authors of the study claim that the main risk is the statement of an incorrect diagnosis. Therefore, the patient can be sent to an unnecessary operation and will take the useless medication. According to the study, conducted in 2009 at the request of BMJ, there happened to be 10 healthy women, who had been given an erroneous diagnosis of breast cancer, among the 2000 patients who had undergone screening in the UK. One can not ignore the powerful psychological stress, which a woman feels, having learnt about the disease.
Today, it is a real problem in Great Britain, since screening is publicly funded in this country. The officials from the sphere of medicine just have to think about how much money the procedure, which gives no absolute results, takes from the budget. The question whether the wasted funds are worthy of the lives of several people is being seriously discussed for some years. The women, who are older than 50 years, are specially invited to this screening, and if they do not come to the examination for some time, they receive a special DVD by mail, which clearly shows what the consequences of neglecting their own health may be. And this propaganda also leads to enormous expenses.
The result is as follows. On the one hand, there is the money, that could be spent on something more appropriate, plus the undermined health of the women, who have been given a wrong diagnosis and have been treated with chemotherapy or have gone through a mastectomy. On the other hand, there is the national program of improving the health of the nation, because prevention is better than treatment. What we get is the classics of the genre: life or money.