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—I was distressed by the article by Finnerty et al. At present, there is an undue fear of irradiation, which, in my opinion, this article increased. Acceptance of these studies may further hinder the use of roentgen studies essential for diagnosis, such as mammography, dental, and chest roentgenograms.
I believe the authors' single factor of irradiation as related to breast cancer has been taken out of context of the patients' lifestyle. Between 1975 and 1983, 912 patients with breast cancer were seen at M. D. Anderson Hospital, Houston, and only 16 patients had irradiation before the development of their breast cancer. This low percentage (1.6%) indicates an extremely tenuous relationship between irradiation and the development of breast cancer.
In reviewing the cases of the patients in whom breast cancer developed, almost one third had tuberculosis or heart disease, another patient had amenorrhea, and three had acne. It is generally accepted
Goldman LB. To the Editor.. Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(3):574. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360030226047