The controversy about whether breast cancer screening with mammography increases survival or only causes anxiety and healthcare costs for women continues. A recently published Norwegian study on mammography screening and breast cancer mortality looked at all Norwegian women aged 50 to 79 between 1986 and 2005. Norway provides an ideal setting to evaluate the effects of breast cancer screening because of the well-defined population and access to medical records. The study shows that breast cancer screening with mammography reduces deaths from breast cancer by 28%.
Diagnostic errors may be the biggest threat to patient safety in New Jersey and throughout the country today. Many people cannot reconcile how this possible in this age of modern medicine, as technology has advanced to provide medical screenings for almost every known disease. But, as we discussed previously, part of the problem is that technology driven medical tests are getting in the way of the clinical assessments performed by physicians.