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Book and Media Reviews
May 16, 2012

Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Skokie Hospital, Skokie, Illinois (

JAMA. 2012;307(19):2107-2108. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.4823

Spurred on by a series of randomized trials dating back to the 1960s showing that mammographic screening decreased the mortality rate of breast carcinoma by 30%, screening mammography programs in asymptomatic women were undertaken and sponsored by governmental agencies and professional organizations throughout the world. In the United States, numerous organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology, undertook aggressive advertising and educational campaigns to encourage routine mammographic screening. Although from time to time a report questioning the efficacy of screening mammography appeared, creating perhaps a temporary flurry of debate, the great majority of researchers studying screening mammography were convinced of the effectiveness of the modality in reducing breast cancer mortality.

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