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Open Access Commentary

Mammographic screening debate on study design: a need to move the field forward

Giske Ursin

Author Affiliations

Cancer Registry of Norway, Majorstuen, N-0304 Oslo, Norway

Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Blindern, 0317, Oslo, Norway

Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

BMC Medicine 2012, 10:164  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-164

Published: 12 December 2012


The mammographic screening debate has been running for decades. The temperature of this debate is unusually high, and all participants, regardless of viewpoint, seem to have a conflict of interest. Another unusual aspect of this debate is the focus on study design, and in particular on designs that some think exceeded their usefulness decades ago. What are the questions that remain to be answered in this debate? Are there methodological issues that have not been adequately addressed? Do we have the right tools to provide up-to-date answers to how women can best protect themselves against dying from breast cancer? This commentary discusses some of the current issues.

See related Opinion articles webcite and webcite

breast cancer; mammographic screening; study design