This is old news. Mammography doesn’t save many lives. But no one is willing to discontinue using them. PSA testing for prostate cancer is a similar testing dead-end.
What doctors need are more effective tests to take their places. I believe several options are on the way. But sometimes it isn’t just the test. Sometimes early detection does more harm than good. Both of these cancers are in that category, too. It’s all very complicated, expensive and disappointing.
Did that mammogram really save Aunt Sally’s life? She thinks it did–by detecting her cancer early. But what if it hadn’t been detected? Probably nothing. Or it could have been discovered later and Sally would have been no worse for ware.
This ABC/AP article rehashes it all pretty well. Here is enough to get you started:
Study Finds Mammograms Lead to Unneeded Treatment