Monday, February 15, 2010

Health Business Blog: More on the overuse of mammography in elderly women

by David E. Williams
A 2001 article from the Journal of General Internal Medicine (Screening Mammography for Frail Older Women; What are the Burdens?)followed the paths of 216 frail, elderly women who had undergone screening mammography.

The recent debate following the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on the age to begin routine mammography screening has focused heavily on the benefits of screening and the potential harm from discouraging screening. I’d like to see the debate broadened to include a frank discussion of the potential harm from too much screening. Excessive screening and associated harm to the frail elderly population is one aspect of that story.
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