In an article in the British Medical Journal of January 6, 2016, entitled, “Why cancer screening has never been shown to ‘save lives’—and what we can do about it”, researchers point out that cancer screening’s “mortality reduction” factor is tied only to “death by cancer-specific disease” – not to overall mortality. Therefore, it is concluded that there is no actual proof that cancer screening, per se, can reduce mortality, among those subjected to this kind of testing.
In the article (linked here: BMJ 2016;352:H6080), reasons given for cancer screening’s questionable efficacy is stated thus:
Using disease specific mortality as a proxy for overall mortality deprives people of information about their chief concern: reducing their risk of dying.5 6 Although some people may have personal reasons for wanting to avoid a specific diagnosis, the burden falls on providers to provide clear information about both disease specific and overall mortality and to ensure that the overall goal of healthcare—to improve quantity and quality of life—is not undermined.
FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE HERE: http://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.h6080