Although there are benefits to genetic screening, it could take a great psychological toll on women who carry mutations
Approximately one in eight women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and early screening can save lives – around 1,300 a year, according to the NHS. That’s one in every 200 women screened; all women aged between 50 and 70 are invited for a mammogram every three years.
But researchers at University College London have found that women who are at lower risk of breast cancer – about a third of the population – would be better off not being screened at all. Their research shows that screening according to risk would not substantially increase the number of women who are missed, but would reduce the number of women who are put through unnecessary tests and treatment for breast cancer.