Dr. Tabár Comments on Most Recent Anti-Screening Attacks by the Royal Society of Medicine and JAMA

Dr. Tabár was recently asked by Ms. Rebekah Moan, a reporter for the European AuntMinnie.com, to comment on one of the most recent anti-screening attacks published by the Royal Society of Medicine and JAMA.

He added the following explanation to the attached article:

“The peer review process does not seem to work at JAMA and at other medical journals, since they give forum for a massive, renewed anti-screening campaign. It is so sad that the authors (may it be Autier’s or Welch’s rehashed old stuff) lack individual patient data to make any statement about screening… still, they do it.

We have already pointed this out to them during the past two years in writing, but they do not seem to learn, and continue with their unprofessional publications, repeating the same mistakes.

  • There is no Cancer Registry in this world (sad enough) that provides information about “detection mode” of breast cancer (i.e. whether the cancer registered was detected at screening, during the interscreening interval, or among non-attendees). Without having excess to this vital information, one cannot make correct conclusion about the impact of “screening” on breast cancer death.
  • If, and when, one intends to study breast cancer death during a ten or more year of screening epoch, one needs to be aware that 52% of those women who die from breast cancer during the screening epoch actually received BC diagnosis before screening even started. In addition, during the screening epoch, there will be self-detected cancers, i.e. not screen-detected. All these cases need to be removed from the analysis in order to assess the true impact of screening on breast cancer death.
  • The correct way of assessing the impact of screening on mortality from BC during a chosen screening epoch is to study the “incidence-based mortality”. This means that both diagnosis and death took place during the screening epoch…NOT before screening started and not outside screening during the screening epoch that one studies.
  • Is this so difficult to understand? What happened with the peer-review process? “Is there any Editor in the House?”.
  • It is irresponsible, cynical and unethical to play with women’s lives by airing lack of knowledge and publishing extremely low quality papers again and again.

Hope these remarks will help to answer questions regarding the most recent anti-screening campaign.