I have repeatedly questioned the value of screening, particularly cancer screening in extending life. I am, predictably, mildly annoyed by the term “preventing death”, since death is unpreventable.

Regardless, a new Swedish study pushes back on my assertions

The study of 130,000 women in two communities in Sweden showed 30 percent fewer women in the screening group died of breast cancer and that this effect persisted year after year.

Now, 29 years after the study began, the researchers found that the number of women saved from breast cancer goes up with each year of screening.

"We’ve found that the longer we look, the more lives are saved," Professor Stephen Duffy of Queen Mary, University of London, whose study was published in the journal Radiology, said in a statement.

About these ads