Germany aims to stop nudging the public on screening

Breast cancer screening pamphlets mislead women

screening-saves-lives image
Breast cancer screening pamphlets mislead women ; all women and women’s organisations should tear up the pink ribbons and campaign for honest information. Image via Province of British Columbia.

Policy on screening people for cancer poses a dilemma: should we aim for higher participation rates or for better informed citizens? The dilemma is that both cannot be had. A focus on informing citizens risks lowering participation rates, because well informed people may realise that for most cancers it is unclear whether the benefits of screening exceed its harms. Historically, screening policies opted for increasing participation and accordingly took measures that made people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the harms. But that is set to change, at least in Germany.

Read Towards a paradigm shift in cancer screening: informed citizens instead of greater participation, The BMJ 2015;350:h2175, by Gerd Gigerenzer, 05 May 2015.

By the same author, read All women and women’s organisations should tear up the pink ribbons and campaign for honest information, BMJ 2014;348:g2636, 25 April 2014.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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