Ok. Not ANOTHER post beating up mammography. Close, but not quite. Another post pointing out just how weak mammography really is at saving lives.
You see, mammography is raised on a pedestal by stories of women who claimed their lives were saved by mammography. Recent studies found that 57% of breast cancers are NOT detected by mammography. But many of these women still had mammography done, but then the mammography is mistakenly credited with finding the cancer early. Breast self exam is still a major route by which the process of cancer detection starts and should be done on a regular basis.
This particular study looked at the likelihood that mammography actually saved the life of a statistical 50 year old woman and found that, after some serious number crunching, that the likelihood that mammography saved this woman’s life is 13% on the generous side, 3% at the realistic side. Not terribly dramatic.