Researchers suggest that our money could be better spent developing more effective breast cancer tests
Researchers recently set out to determine the most effective way to encourage women to undergo regular mammogram screenings, and the results disappoint: All approaches show a very small impact and there isn’t enough evidence to determine which is best. In other words: They all kinda suck.
You might ask whether there’s a better way to allocate resources — or at least that’s the question doctors Jeanne Mandelblatt and Diana Buist raise in an editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (PDF). Given contradictory evidence as to the effectiveness of regular mammograms, the recent recommendation against regular screening for women in their 40s, the risk for false negatives, false positives and overdiagnosis, and the aforementioned suckiness of intervention attempts, we might be better off spending money on new, more effective screening methods. “It could be reasonably argued that we should better spend our efforts in discovering better early detection tests rather than continuing to invest in getting a few more women to regularly use a flawed technology,” they write.
The authors also trot out a radical hypothesis: We could be burning money on attempts to encourage awareness and regular screening when women might actually be “making an informed choice to not use an imperfect technology.” Women making informed medical decisions — wacky idea, right?
Regardless of the ultimate medical consensus, they point out that “it will be important to generate clear, consistent communication of any new risk-based recommendations to women and their providers” and suggest that “future intervention research should be closely linked to communication and dissemination efforts to be maximally effective in changing behavior in population subgroups.” In case you didn’t catch it, that’s a dig against the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s epic communication fail late last year. Hopefully, the panel is up to the challenge.
While we’re talking hope, I can’t help but toss out a personal and absolutely biased wish, given my mom’s recent diagnosis — that we put more money toward a less sympathetic and profoundly underfunded disease: Lung cancer. It’s the No. 1 cancer killer among women. End personal service announcement.
More Related Stories
- I'm not achieving my dreams!
- The most popular Tumblr porn
- Slave descendants seek equal rights from Cherokee Nation
- Snapchat is secretly storing your photos
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Facebook's hate speech problem
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- When my home was destroyed
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
- Study: Salt Lake City is gay parenting capital of the U.S.
- You are less beautiful than you think
- "Ghetto" tour lets you gawk at New York's poor
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Watch: Family emerges from storm shelter after tornado
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- My miscarriages made me question being pro-choice
- Why I tried to be a punk
- I'm terrified of the cicada onslaught
- Limbaugh: No one willing to impeach the first black president
- SAT's right answers are all wrong
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11