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What are the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Simon Richard White.

As a member of the Independent Review Panel that has recently reported on this topic (1), I will reflect on the issues raised, the review process, our results and conclusions, and the press coverage received. Issues include: the value of older randomised trials versus more recent observational studies, relative and absolute risks, percentages with unclear denominators, non-statistical uncertainty, and expressing the balance of benefit to harm.

1. Independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer Screening. The benefits and harms of breast cancer screening: an independent review. Lancet 2012; 380: 1778-1786.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill seminars at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health series.

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