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March 17, 2010

Screening and Detection of Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer

JAMA. 2010;303(11):1032-1034. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.274

To the Editor: Epidemiologists have long argued that neither stage at diagnosis nor survival since diagnosis can demonstrate the beneficial effects of a screening technology on cancer mortality. The only reliable guide is a change in the overall age-adjusted mortality rate. In light of this, the absence of any mention of changes in recent age-adjusted mortality rates in the United States for the cancers of interest in the article by Dr Esserman and colleagues1 on cancer screening is surprising.

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