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May 10, 2016

A Pragmatic Approach to Determine Components of Optimal Screening Mammography Practice

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison
  • 2University of California, San Francisco
  • 3University of London, London, United Kingdom
JAMA. 2016;315(18):1951-1953. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4530

The international community is striving to find optimal strategies to decrease morbidity from breast cancer, a disease that annually claims hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.1 Although debate continues, influential groups that establish guidelines agree that mammography reduces mortality for women between the ages of 40 and 74 years.2-4 For this reason, most countries with available resources offer mammography screening as a tool to decrease mortality and morbidity. Controversy continues to surround policy-level components of screening mammography, such as the age of initiation and cessation and the optimal screening interval, because these factors alter the ratio of benefits and harms—a balance on which consensus has not been reached.