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Expanded breast cancer screening unjustified: doctor

VANCOUVER (NEWS11130) – Expanding early breast cancer screening to younger women isn’t justified. That’s the message from one doctor who believes the risks outweigh the benefits.

Dr. Cornelia Baines is a public health professor at the University of Toronto. She argues new proposals and government funding to expand screening in Canada aren’t justified by scientific evidence.

She believes the debate over mammograms for the under-50 set has become dominated by vested interests, like the companies that make the diagnostic imaging machines. Baines tells the National Post expanded screening puts women at risk of being over-diagnosed and studies show one-quarter of cancers detected by mammograms would never cause symptoms.

The Canadian Cancer Society says it doesn’t urge the average woman in her 40s to get regular mammograms.