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MPs to scrutinise science behind health screening

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has announced an inquiry into the evidence base for national health screening programmes.

The inquiry will also consider the potential risks and benefits of health screening, the provision of health screening in the UK compared with other countries, and the sources of scientific advice to government on health screening.

Committee chairman Andrew Miller, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, said: “Thousands of women are screened for breast cancer every year and lives are saved as a result, but there may also be women who undergo unnecessary treatment and surgery as a result of screening. Calls to extend screening to other conditions should ensure that there is good evidence that the screening would be effective. We will be examining the evidence base behind the decisions on which illnesses to screen for and will be asking whether we are currently getting these decisions right in the UK.”

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