The Marmot Review on Breast Cancer Screening Programme

The long awaited Marmot Review on the National Breast Screening Programme was published on 30 October. The Review concluded that breast screening saves the lives of 20 per cent of the women who attend for screening and that 4,000 women every year in the UK are over-diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of the screening programme. (Over-diagnosis means being told you have a cancer which will never give you symptoms in your lifetime and which would not threaten your life). This means that when you attend for screening, you are more likely to be treated for a harmless cancer (or pre-cancer) than you are to have your life saved from breast cancer. The Review also states, however, that the research which they used to arrive at these conclusions is 20 years out of date and calls for more research. The Review also strongly recommend that women are given full information on the harms, as well as the benefits, of screening so that they can make an “informed choice” on whether to attend for screening. We have been campaigning on this issue for many, many years now and are delighted to have the weight of this respected Report on our side whilst we continue our campaign. Moira Adams, one of our Trustees, has given several interviews on Radio Scotland and BBC Five Live on the views of Challenge Breast Cancer Scotland, our new charitable name. We would love to hear your views on this issue.

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