Monday, 14 September 2009

Informing patients about breast cancer screening - risks of overdiagnosis

A recent posting on the NHS National Prescribing Centre website blog addresses the issues of possible overdiagnosis of inconsequential cancers found as part of routine screening.

Blog link here

It is estimated that approximately 30% of breast cancers found at screening are of low grade and metastatic potential (low oncotype score) which may never kill the patient, and are therefore counted as being overdiagnosis.

Various tools are available to help primary care providers and others wishing to assist women to make informed decisions about whether to have screening or not.

Patient decision aids may help to guide women make the decision alongside the literature from the NHSBSP