Health experts from 16 nations, initiated by the WHO’s cancer agency peered into 40 studies.
Their findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine support the NHS advisory that recommends cancer screening for women ages 50-69 every three years.
U.K. women who undergo regular breast screening slipped slightly lower over the past few years.
A number of lives are saved by cancer screening. It’s importance can’t be underestimated even with the progress in technology and improved breast cancer treatments and risk mahagement.
Every year, 1,300 lives are saved from breast cancer in the UK alone, according to an NHS estimate.
Though drawbacks beset the screening, the report concedes, like over-diagnosis, wherein a non-harmful slow-growing cancer is detected, which oftentimes lead to pointless treatment.
An endless process of further testing is undergone by a number of women who tested positive, before they are cleared, as screening can at times detect cells that are not cancerous.
Prof Stephen Duffy, the report author from the Queen Mary University of London say, “This important analysis will hopefully reassure women around the world that breast screening with mammography saves lives.
Adding that,”The evidence proves breast screening is a vital tool in increasing early diagnosis of breast cancer and therefore reducing the number of deaths.”
Women requesting for screening of the breast must be fed balanced information to assist them in deciding whether to take up the offer or not.
An updated leaflet of patient information about the pros and cons of the screening should be distributed to inform patients, the NHS said.
Screening could be useful for the 50-70 age group, the study insinuates, but to confirm this, experts say, further research is needed.
A pilot study is conducted by the University of Oxford scientists that involves women ages above and below the subject age cluster.