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September 12, 1977

Thyroid Hormone and Breast Cancer

JAMA. 1977;238(11):1147-1148. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280120039006

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To the Editor.—  We have had opportunity to study the letters by Drs Venezian and MacCornack and to reconsider the two articles they discuss, which deal with the prevalence of breast cancer in women who have had thyroid hormone treatment of various durations. We write this letter as a result of comments by some of our colleagues that they could not understand the data analyses in these documents. Only in the initial paper by Kapdi and Wolfe were the data both clearly presented and analyzed (albeit somewhat incompletely).We do not quarrel with the methodology or the arithmetic of this material. What bothers us is that there was no simple, commonsense presentation of the data. We suggest that the data provided by Kapdi and Wolfe could have been presented so that understanding would be both correct and immediate.The essentials are the relations of prevalence (percentage of women with breast