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Comment & Response
December 11, 2013

Differences in Breast Cancer Survival by Race

Author Affiliations
  • 1Independent data scientist (self-employed), Seattle, Washington
  • 2Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2013;310(22):2456-2457. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281072

To the Editor Dr Silber and colleagues1 reported survival differences among black and white women with breast cancer. However, screening overdiagnosis may weaken the results of this and prior studies on the topic.

For example, cases detected through screening mammography are sometimes diagnosed as breast cancer even though they would never be noticed otherwise. These overdiagnoses can lead to unnecessary treatments.2 Recent studies have prompted disagreement about the extent of overdiagnosis.3 Despite this attention, the effect of overdiagnosis on survival disparities is unclear.