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The American College of Radiology (ACR) has issued revised guidelines for mammography that it hopes will result in increased use of that modality in screening for breast cancer.
Actually, the new guidelines contain only two substantial departures from the previous guidelines, which were drafted in 1976: (1) The recommended frequency of screening mammograms for women older than 40 years has been increased from once every two to three years to once every one to two years. (2) The recommended dosage of radiation has been reduced to less than 1 rad to the midbreast for a two-view examination.
These revisions are expected to alleviate some of the fears concerning radiation exposure generated by a 1976 report issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) advising that "the routine use of mammography may take almost as many lives as it saves." That statement was derived from data from two sources. A study conducted
Merz B. Radiologists revise mammography guidelines. JAMA. 1983;249(16):2142–2143. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330400012002
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