Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Dr Kerlikowske and colleagues1 neglect significant costs that entirely negate
the small gain in life expectancy they report. Biennial screening mammography
for a period of 10 years requires at least 5 visits to the mammography facility.
Given the mobility constraints in the population in question, the 7.2 hours
to 2.1 days added life expectancy is likely to be consumed by the screening
procedures themselves. It does not seem reasonable to recommend medical procedures
that only extend life long enough to perform the procedure being recommended.
Seidenwurm D, Breslau J. Screening Mammography in Elderly Women. JAMA. 2000;283(24):3202-3204. doi:10.1001/jama.283.24.3198