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September 19, 1977

Detection of Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

Memorial Hospital New York

JAMA. 1977;238(12):1247-1248. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280130029005

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To the Editor.—  The paper by Lesnick (237:967, 1977), which overemphasizes the inadequacy of mammography in younger symptomatic women, is at complete variance with our own experience. The 635 patients who were treated by us for primary breast cancer between 1970 and 1975 had had preoperative mammograms. Thirty-six percent of them were 50 years of age or younger. The accuracy of initial diagnosis by mammography was very similar in women 50 years of age and under as compared with those over 50. Twenty-two percent of all cancers were found initially by mammography only in the younger age group, as compared with 18% in the older group. Both physical examination and mammography were positive in 42% of the younger group and 61% of the older group. Physical examination alone detected 16% of cancers in younger women and 11% in the older group. The overall mammographic detection of breast cancer was 64%