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September 12, 1986

Detection of Breast Cancer

JAMA. 1986;256(10):1292. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380100065012

To the Editor.—  In the article by Wertheimer et al,1 the statement is made that there would not be enough radiologists available to analyze the mammograms. This is an incorrect assumption based on wishful thinking rather than fact. There are at least 20 000 radiologists active in this country today who are members of the American College of Radiology. There are other radiologists who are not active members.If there are, indeed, 50 million women older than age 40 years (the census projections for 1990 as indicated by these authors), it would be necessary for every radiologist to examine 2500 women per year, which, assuming 208 working days, would require that each radiologist perform 12 mammograms a day. In Falun, Sweden, one radiologist routinely examines 100 women a day, and in the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project, examinations of 40 women each day were routinely done. In our own