Women doctors urged to join breast screening trial

A comment posted on the British Medical Journal website asserts that more randomized controlled trials are needed on breast screening and suggests that female doctors should enroll.

Dr. Allan Corder, a surgeon at Hereford County Hospital in Hereford, U.K., posted his comment in reply to an editorial appearing in BMJ online 6 January on the benefits and harms of mammography screening.

The link between decreased breast cancer mortality at the same time many breast screening programs were implemented is weak, considering all the other changes in breast cancer management during the same time period, Corder said. To settle the debate, a high-quality randomized controlled trial is needed.

The study of doctors' smoking habits helped define the association between smoking and lung cancer, so women doctors should be involved in a breast cancer screening trial, he said. If screening versus no screening is too radical, it could be a comparison of twice yearly versus thrice yearly, Corder added.

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