A recent Harvard study found that many women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50 had never been screeend, so they concluded mammograms could have saved their lives.
Dr. Gil Welch, who has written a book about how american medicine overscreens for too many diseases says their conclusions is a leap.
"A lot of medical literature is not correct. The process of scientific inference takes a little time and I'm afraid this paper was not well reviewed. Their conclusion wasn't supported by the data."
Critics like Dr. Welch say jsut because someone didn't get a mammogram doesn't mean it could have saved their lives. He says early detection is not a guarantee someone won't die.
The American Cancer Soceity reocmmends women get a yearly mammogram after the age of 40, but the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women start getting regular mammograms starting at 50.
See H. Gilbert Welch's N.Y. Times Op-Ed piece here: