Breast cancer screening – an informed choice?
The advice women are given about the pros and cons of breast screening can be misinformed, and distorted by vested interest and bias.Women need to feel empowered to take control of their own health with reliable information and choice. Detecting signs of disease early is a good thing as long as investigations are not harmful and treatment options are likely to improve health and wellbeing. Because diet and exercise can reduce cancer risk, a ‘diagnosis’ or scare can be an opportunity for change to a healthier lifestyle.
‘The central idea of early disease detection and treatment is essentially simple. However, the path to its successful achievement (on the one hand, bringing to treatment those with previously undetected disease, and, on the other, avoiding harm to those persons not in need of treatment) is far from simple though sometimes it may appear deceptively easy.’
Andermann et al (2008)