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Promoting screening irrespective of the evidence may garner votes but will not create healthier voters

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That’s a line from a commentary entitled, “The Benefits and Harms of Mammography Screening: Understanding the Trade-offs,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week by Dartmouth’s Steve Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz.

Blogger Merrill Goozner did a good job summarizing the piece. So far he’s the only journalist I’ve seen who’s written about the article as I go to post this.

As the authors wrote:

“…people need balanced information. Simplistic slogans touting only the benefit are deceptive. Simple, standardized summaries (and they provide a table of some) about the benefits and harms of testing would help foster good decision making.”

That’s something journalists struggle with every day in telling health care stories – as we’ve shown over and over on HealthNewsReview.org.

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