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Comment & Response
February 3, 2015

Proposed Shift in Screening for Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, North Carolina
  • 2Retired, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA. 2015;313(5):525. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.17436

To the Editor In a Viewpoint, Dr King and colleagues1 called for population-based screening for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 among US women starting at age 30 years. This recommendation represents a major shift from current guidelines for testing, which are based on age at diagnosis of family member as well as family history.2 King and colleagues did not make any reference to the number of women needed to screen to detect a rare harmful mutation in the general population, or to the number of women needed to screen to prevent 1 case of BRCA-attributable cancer.