(WXYZ) - An article published in the British Medical Journal accuses Susan G. Komen for the Cure of using misleading statistics to convince women to get mammograms.
Professors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz, from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, say the organization's October ad was deceptive and gave women false hope.
In the ad, Komen said early detection saves lives and that the five-year survival rate for breast cancer when caught early is 98 percent. Komen said when it's not detected early, the survival rate is 23 percent.
Woloshin and Schwartz say there is no correlation between changes in survival and changes in how many people die.
The professors also criticize Komen, claiming that the organization exaggerated the benefits of mammograms and ignored the risks.
They write in the article that mammograms can find cancers that were never going to develop or cause any harm, but women may still be recommended to undergo unnecessary biopsies and chemotherapy.
Woloshin said that for every life saved by screening, two to 10 women are misdiagnosed.
Komen's vice president of research, evaluation and scientific programs, Chandini Portteus, released a statement saying, "Everyone agrees that mammography isn't perfect, but it's the best widely available detection tool that we have today."
She went on to say that early detection allows for early treatment, which gives women the best chance of surviving breast cancer.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women get a mammogram at least once every two years, starting at the age of 50.
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