July 11, 1980

Control of Breast Cancer Through Mass Screening

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago Medical Center


edited by Philip Strax, 233 pp, with illus, $23.50, Littleton, Mass, PSG Publishing Co, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;244(2):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310020063038

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Are the breast cancers found by screening more curable than the others, or are they merely diagnosed earlier? What is the cost of discovering a curable cancer by institutional mass screening? These are among the questions addressed by the 20 authorities contributing to this monograph. In addition to chapters on the rationale for mass screening, there are groups of chapters on etiologic factors related to risk, and on methods, management, and motivation.

The concept of screening has engendered four decades of sustained effort toward self-examination by patients, education of physicians, and setting up of detection centers in which "mass screening" of asymptomatic women takes place. Has there been a concomitant reduction in mortality from breast cancer? Apparently diverse opinions are expressed in this book, where the distinction is not always clearly made between the mortality from breast cancer in all adult women and that in the subgroup with the disease.