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Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of the deadly disease in females in the UK, and now women are being given advice on the potential problems that come with scanned for the condition.
A recent report published in the Lancet highlighted the dangers that are involved with being screened for breast cancer and that in some cases in led to a number of cancers that are not dangerous being detected. Professor Peter Gotzsche, chair of clinical research design and analysis at the University of Copenhagen, noted that this can lead to women being over-diagnosed which can prove to be more detrimental than beneficial to people being checked for disease.
Mr Gotzsche noted that for every woman that is saved from the form of cancer, a further suffers some form of effect from being checked over. It led the Danish researcher to call for the screenings to be scrapped altogether to avoid any such incidents happening again in the future. However, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care have urged women across the UK to continue attending their screening programmes.
Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "Research is advancing at pace and we hope that in the future there will be a number of new techniques that we can use alongside the screening programme to make it more sophisticated and reduce the numbers of women having unnecessary treatment."
The organisations will now be giving out leaflets with detailed information on the potential dangers that come with being screened for the deadly disease and the government has said that these advice sheets will be able to give females an "informed choice" on whether or not they want to go ahead with the assessment.
According to statistics from the NHS, breast cancer affects around 48,000 women every year and is one of the most common forms of the disease present in the UK today, and a range of measures need to be taken to prevent it claiming more lives.
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written by Megan Smith
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