Screening may spread cancer cells
Saturday 11 July 1992
More and more pressure is being put on women's breasts during examinations in efforts to detect smaller and smaller tumours, according to doctors from the University of Aberdeen. The amount of force used, they say, could trigger existing cancer cells to spread.
Mammography, which is used nationally to screen women aged 50 to 64 for breast cancer, involves the breast being placed in a machine and flattened between two plates so that as much tissue as possible can be X-rayed.
But in a letter in the Lancet, the medical journal, researchers from the university's Biomedical Physics department, say that tumours should always be handled gently to prevent cancer cells spreading. Experiments in animals have shown that the number of secondary tumours can increase by up to 80 per cent when a tumour is manipulated mechanically.
David Watmough, senior lecturer in the department, and Keming Quan, former research assistant, say that there has been no attempt to standardise the force used for a mammogram and that the risks have never been properly assessed.
They say that a study of breast cancer in Malmo, Sweden, found 29 per cent more deaths among women under 55 who had been screened than in women who were not.
Dr Watmough said: 'If you're spending pounds 20 to pounds 40m a year on screening women you ought to be concerned how a result like that arises.'
He said he was in favour of screening, but compression limits needed to be reviewed.
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...