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How can we make sense of the increasingly polarised debate about harms and benefits of breast cancer screening?

Tuesday 20 March: 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Mill Lane Lecture Rooms , 8 Mill Lane, CB2 1RW

In recent years the debate about the harms and benefits of breast cancer screening has become increasingly polarised. This expert panel discussion will consider the complexities of this debate from four different disciplinary perspectives. Dr Sian Taylor Phillips, an epidemiologist who works with the UK National Screening Committee, will provide insights into the challenges of interpreting the evidence base; Professor Fiona Gilbert will give a clinical perspective and describe new technological options in breast screening, Dr David Spiegelhalter will discuss the challenges of communicating complex risk information to the public in screening programmes and Dr Hogarth will provide a social scientist’s perspective on how the mammography debate has developed since the 1970s.

Professor Fiona Gilbert is Head of the Radiology Department at the University of Cambridge’s School of Clinical Medicine and an Honorary Consultant Radiologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. She was appointed consultant radiologist in Aberdeen responsible for the National Breast Screening Programme for Grampian in 1989 and Chair of Radiology, starting a new academic Radiology department in Aberdeen University in 1996. Her research focuses on breast imaging and screening. Her current research interests are in evaluating breast Tomosynthesis, non FDG radiotracers in cancer, and breast MRI. She is interested in using imaging to gain a better understanding of tumour macroenvironment. She is an NIHR Senior Investigator. She is past Chair of the Academic committee of the Royal College of Radiologists and past Chair of the NCRI Imaging Advisory group. She sat on guideline development groups for breast imaging for SIGN and NICE and the family history of breast cancer guideline development group.

Stuart Hogarth is Lecturer in Sociology of Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Sociology. Dr Hogarth's research focuses on the political economy of biomedical innovation, and he has published extensively on topics such as regulation and intellectual property. His primary interest is the impact of genomic science on the diagnostics sector, and he is currently writing a history of the development and adoption of DNA tests for HPV in cervical cancer screening, and is extending this work with a new project focused on the development of new screening tools for colorectal, lung and prostate cancer. He is preparing a report for the UK National Screening Committee on the controversy surrounding breast screening. His work combines empirical research with normative analysis of public policy and commercial strategy, and he has produced policy reports for the European Commission, Health Canada, and the UK Human Genetics Commission.

David Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk and Fellow of Churchill College at Cambridge University, and as Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, he works to improve the way in which risk and statistical evidence are taught and discussed in society. He gives many presentations to schools and others, advises organisations on risk communication, and is a regular commentator on risk issues. He presented the BBC4 documentaries ‘Tails you Win: the Science of Chance’ and the award-winning ‘Climate Change by Numbers’. He was elected FRS in 2005, awarded an OBE in 2006, and was knighted in 2014 for services to medical statistics. For 2017-2018 he is President of the Royal Statistical Society. In 2011 he came 7th in an episode of Winter Wipeout.

Dr Sian Taylor-Phillips is based at the University of Warwick Medical School and her research focuses on the evaluation of medical screening programmes. She leads systematic reviews and cost effectiveness analyses for the UK National Screening Committee examining the evidence around whether new tests and screening programmes should be implemented in the UK and she leads the Heath Screening masters module at Warwick, which is a collaboration with the UK National Screening Committee. She is currently investigating methods of evidence review when assessing changes to screening programmes, and evaluating previous changes to breast cancer screening. She was the lead investigator on a multi-centre randomised controlled trial of a change to breast cancer screening.

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Telephone number:
01223 766766

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Additional Information

Age: 15+, Talk, Arrive on time, Free

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