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Screening leads to 'overdiagnosis'

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Breast screening programmes in the UK 'extend lives' but cause 4,000 women to go through unnecessary treatment, according to the results of an independent review published in medical journal The Lancet.

The Independent Breast Screening Review, commissioned the DH and Cancer Research UK, concluded for each breast cancer death prevented, three 'over diagnosed' cases are identified and treated.

The study estimated screening prevents 1,300 breast cancer deaths per year but can lead to 4,000 women each year aged 50-70 having treatment for a condition that would never have troubled them.

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