Study calls for awareness on down sides of mammograms

File photo: Mammogram

January 20, 2011 4:50:58 AM PST
A team of Dutch doctors is urging health care professionals to make more women aware of the downsides of mammograms.

The group claims false- positive results can promote anxiety and undermine a patient's quality of life.

The authors also say these patients may undergo more diagnostic procedures than those who actually have breast cancer. The report is published on line in the British Journal of Surgery.

The findings are based on surveys of 385 Dutch women who received abnormal mammogram results. The lead author agrees most screening programs have been successful in reducing breast cancer deaths.

But, he says women need balanced information about the potential benefits and possible harm.