Breast cancer and needless surgery

BUNDABERG breast cancer survivor Maxine Burrage has expressed her disbelief at the results of a new study that show between 23% and 29% of all breast cancers diagnosed are being over diagnosed and over treated.

“I think the doctors are very thorough,” Mrs Burrage said.

“They don’t just do surgery. They also leave it to you to make the decision.”

She said it was important women did what they thought was best for them if diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Have the treatments as quickly as possible,” she said.

The study, conducted by the University of Sydney, also found it was difficult to pinpoint which women were being over diagnosed.

“Even when these risks are accounted for we still find breast cancer over diagnosis is very high,” Associate Professor Alex Barratt, who helped conduct the study, said. “Over diagnosis means many women are needlessly having surgery or other treatment at great personal cost.”

Prof Barratt said the results also showed a need for better information for women and doctors about the benefits and harms of mammography screening.



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