HFHT's Practising Wisely Newsletter
For the whole healthcare team.
Issue 41: Breast Cancer Screening Part II
November 7, 2017
Discussion about breast cancer screening will take place long after the end of October's Breast Cancer Awareness month. What kind of information do you share with patients? Below you can find a summary of some patient-friendly resources that highlight the evidence surrounding outcomes related to mammography, and how to make decisions about breast cancer screening with your patients.

Links to all articles are available in our Quick Links section.
"Routine mammograms do not save lives: The research is clear" (The National Post, 2017)
Author Anne Kearney, who is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Memorial University offers a simple review of factors to look at when considering a screening mammogram, based on the premise that over time there is increasing evidence that mammography screening may not be as beneficial as once thought. Additionally, Ms. Kearney's review of the websites of 12 breast screening programs in Canada shows that no program is offering balanced information on their website to support an informed decision.
"Why mammograms haven't cut cancer deaths explained in 500 words" (Vox, 2016)
In her article, author Julia Belluz, concludes that "while mass mammography programs targeting all women may be delivering more harms than benefits and should therefore be reconsidered, it doesn't mean that no one should get screened."
Other Resources and Patient Handouts:
Dr. Meghan Davis, who is Regional Primary Care Lead Cancer Screening, Cancer Care Ontario, and an HFHT Family Physician, shared some helpful decision making tools to use with patients between the ages of 40 and 49 , 50 to 69 , and 70 to 74 , as well as a requisition that outlines considerations for screening high-risk women .

Although The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care still recommends that women aged 50 to 74 get regular mammography screening, they are updating their breast screening recommendations this year and reflections on the latest evidence may change this.
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