Cancer is the second leading cause of death in women worldwide with breast cancer as the most common cancer. Mammography screening is the only screening strategy shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer death. Identifying the optimal use of screening mammography in high-income countries such as the United States has been a source of controversy for decades. There is growing awareness in the clinical community of the potential harms of screening, including overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment for cancers that never would have become clinically apparent. In addition, there is an urgent need to identify effective and feasible strategies to facilitate earlier diagnosis of breast cancer in low-income countries where population-based mammography screening is typically not yet available.
Division of Women’s Health researchers are engaged in examining the risks and benefits of mammography screening in the United States and evaluating breast cancer screening policies and guidelines, as well as other strategies for breast cancer prevention, such as genetic testing. We are also studying strategies to promote earlier detection of breast cancer in low-income countries. Our research includes: