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October 11, 1985

Costs of Cancer Screening

Author Affiliations

Harpers Ferry, WV

JAMA. 1985;254(14):1906. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360140058026

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To the Editor.—  Some of the difficulties involved in recommendations for cancer screening are nicely illustrated by the consecutive questions in your June 14, 1985, issue. Dr Logan emphasizes in his answer regarding fibrocystic breast disease that the American Cancer Society, American Medical Association, and American College of Radiology recommend that all women older than age 50 have yearly mammographic screening. Yet, in the previous question dealing with follow-up of a woman's status after surgery for breast cancer and, therefore, unarguably at a higher than normal risk of cancer developing in the other breast, two other recognized authorities suggest mammography every one to two years (Dr Urban), and every two years (Dr Holland).It is safe to say that the answers are not yet in; therefore, why do the various medical groups continue to make wide-ranging recommendations regarding diagnostic testing?I am very concerned about preventive care and cancer screening.