Annual mammograms do not reduce breast cancer deaths, say Canadian researchers.

The team studied 40,000 women aged 50 to 59 as part of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study 2 and found that mammograms made no difference to those women who were trained in self examination and who undergo regular physical breast examinations by a health professional.

These findings add to several similar studies which show that regular physical examinations are equally effective and may even be superior to x-rays (Lancet, 2000; 356: 1087).

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