Screening Mammography – Do You Really Need It?


Majid Ali, M.D.

Should Women Have Annual Screening Mammograms?

If you take the time to learn and know the subject, your answer to the above question is likely to No. My three female associate pathologists at the hospital (froom 1974 to 1995) did not take yearly screening mamograms. I think this was so because they shared a vast experience with breast cancer and knew their relevent facts well. Their decision was well-considered.

Here is the conclusion of an important paper published in The England Journal of Medicine on October 13, 2016:

Although the rate of detection of large tumors fell after the introduction of screening mammography, the more favorable size distribution was primarily the result of the additional detection of small tumors. Women were more likely to have breast cancer that was overdiagnosed than to have earlier detection of a tumor that was destined to become large. The reduction in breast cancer mortality after the implementation of screening mammography was predominantly the result of improved systemic therapy.

What Is the Price of Overdiagnosis?

  1. Fear
  2. Sleepless nights
  3. Anger when the patients finds out the truth.
  4. Worsening of all existing medical conditions. I do not know of any chronic disease which is not made worse by fear and anger. 


  • Welch HG, Prorok PC, O’Malley JO et al. N End J Med. 1026;275:1438-1447.



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