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July 23, 1997

Benefits and Risks of Screening Mammography in Women With BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations

JAMA. 1997;278(4):289-290. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550040045029

To the Editor.  —As a writer on the subject of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations,1 I read the Consensus Statement "Recommendations for Follow-up Care of Individuals With an Inherited Predisposition to Cancer: II. BRCA1 and BRCA2"2 with particular interest and find the recommendations inconsistent and troublesome.The paragraph in the abstract headed "Conclusions" (page 997) states, "Based on expert opinion concerning presumptive benefit, early breast cancer and ovarian cancer screening are recommended for individuals with BRCA1 mutations and early breast cancer screening for those with BRCA2 mutations."The paragraph headed "Mammography" (page 999) states, "There is a potential increased risk of breast cancer when mammography is started at an early age, and this risk may be greater in individuals with an inherited cancer predisposition than in women of average risk." Further, the authors state that for this population there is a "likelihood that mammography screening provides benefit, although there are