Online Program

Campaign for honest evidence -based health information

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Sahru Sahdiid Keiser, MPH, Breast Cancer Action, San Francisco, CA
The goal of breast cancer screening is to prevent women from dying from breast cancer, and for thirty years we have been told by industry that regular mammograms will save our lives. Current science shows that screening mammograms do not reduce the number of women who die from breast cancer and comes with significant harms including false positives, overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Many mainstream public health and breast cancer organizations have neglected to update their positions and educational materials with these evidence-based changes. How can we hold these national organizations accountable for pushing a scientifically invalid message? The author will describe the importance of creating and disseminating an unbiased patient-centered perspective on the evidence about mammography.  Conveying information in an accessible and visually engaging way, the brochure, Should I Have A Mammogram: Understanding the Harms and Benefits of Routine Breast Cancer Screening, is designed to provide important evidence based information for women at “average risk”. As women evaluate their health decisions, they must have access to unbiased information, free from conflict of interest and without the heavy thumb of vested interests tipping the balance. In this session, the author will explore the need 1) to shift away from early detection and focus on preventing breast cancer from developing in the first place, 2) to continue to provide balanced information so women can make informed choices and last, 3) for clear evidence-based guidelines for all communities- including underrepresenting communities.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
Explain how national breast cancer and public health organizations promoting scientifically invalid messages about screening mammography is detrimental to women Discuss the history of paternalistic pro-screening public health messages and how to change them Discuss the harms and benefits of routine breast cancer screening Describe the specific harms of overdiagnosis, overtreatment, false positives and false negatives as they relate to routine breast cancer screening Analyze the opportunities to shift away from early detection and toward preventing breast cancer from developing in the first place

Keyword(s): Activism, Cancer and Women’s Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee my organization's national educational program, including providing information & training to activists across the country, developing educational materials such as fact sheets and activist toolkits, and creating online education tools like webinars for the public. I engage my organization’s national membership through the development of a leadership program and supporting national educational events in collaboration with partners. I provide key leadership in advocacy education related to inequities in breast cancer.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.