All News & Blogs
George Butler Wilson's rebuttal column on the need for breast cancer screenings.
Screening for breast cancer is exactly that, screening. That means that repeated exams at appropriate intervals are necessary because one mammogram is a snapshot in time and, while it has significant diagnostic value, it has little to no prognostic value. A normal mammogram today does not imply, much less guarantee, normal mammograms in the future.
Breast cancer became more of a political disease than a medical one years ago, and we adapted to those demands in an effort to continue to care for our patients. Even so, I am constantly amazed and frightened by the manner in which ill-informed, often ignorant people draw concrete conclusions from conflicting information and data. It is then dismaying to see the media publish those conclusions with absolutely no effort to verify them. Reference to a journal article hardly suffices for actual verification.
The bottom line remains the same: Screening mammography saves lives!
George Butler Wilson, M.D., is a radiologist in West Virginia.