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Article
May 1979

Breast Cancer and Treatment With Neuroleptics

Author Affiliations

Departments of Epidemiology and Psychiatry Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CN 06519

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(5):604-605. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780050114017
Abstract

To the Editor.—  Dr Overall is to be congratulated for being the first to examine a possible association between neuroleptic drug use and breast cancer (Archives 35:898-899, 1978). However, no statistically significant evidence for the hypothesized association was found when the proportion of patients with breast cancer who had been treated for schizophrenia at the hospital was compared to the proportion of other cancer patients who had been treated for that disorder.Although Dr Overall fully acknowledges that his study is not definitive, we believe that his conclusions require further verification. Specifically, the author states that the results "certainly seem to support the conclusion that increased risk of breast cancer due to psychiatric drug treatment is not a clinically substantial problem where schizophrenia is the alternative." The major problem is that the study sample size is inadequate to detect anything less than an extremely large relative risk. Dr Overall's observed

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