Times crafts strong reminder of screening’s dangers


Sarah-Kate Templeton, in The Times of London, tells the story of one victim of medical screening and overtreatment, wrapping that story in the larger debate about unnecessary medical screening and finally caps it all off with the news of a “Making Sense of Screening” guide, produced for the charity Sense About Science by a group of British scientists and doctors.

Templeton’s story provides a forceful reminder of the dangers of some early screening and aggressive treatment, all in the words of a 56-year-old math teacher who was diagnosed with a dormant form of breast cancer, and whose doctors recommended radical treatment.

The National Health Service has had to rewrite its advice to include warnings about potential harm caused by the screening process “after research showed that thousands of women have been misled into having unnecessary surgery.”

(Hat tip to Gary Schwitzer)

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