Love the book.
This book is a series of essays on a bunch of different things. Mammography is discussed on 16 pages of this 400 page book, in a chapter about visualization technologies and their shortcomings.
Some ideas you don’t usually hear:
-An explanation of how variable breast cancer appears in mammograms, and the inconsistency in doctors’ interpretations – a bit scary if you’ve been there.
-A study shows women who had clinical breast exams (feeling the breast) had the same survival rates as those who had mammograms.
-Autopsies performed on women in their forties, who died of other causes, showed that 40% of women had breast cancer. Yet breast cancer accounts for 4% of female deaths. This shows that we live with cancer and cancer doesn’t have to kill you.
-Concluding that mammograms are a flawed tool, but part of a set of tools and treatments that can save lives.
Of course it’s complicated. Gladwell goes into much more detail, facts and explanation.
In the meantime, be cynical…and do whatever helps you survive.
Here’s an article on the mammogram controversy in the Telegraph