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August 22, 1977

Mammographic ScreeningValue in Diagnosis of Early Breast Cancer

JAMA. 1977;238(8):872-873. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280090036017

Analysis of the two-year results of a project screening asymptomatic women for breast cancer is presented. There were 10,008 women examined and 490 biopsies completed. There were 97 cancers found, of which 55 were nonpalpable; 36 of the 97 cancers were in women under 50 years of age. The incidence of axillary metastasis was 7% in the nonpalpable lesions.

We suggest that mammography is useful in discovering curable breast cancer, even among younger women at least down to the age of 40. The potential benefit seems to greatly outweigh the theoretical carcinogenic hazard. Selection of candidates for mammography should be based on all risk factors, not just age. An attempt is made to correlate the results with the theoretical risks as proposed by others.

(JAMA 238:872-873, 1977)