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Comment & Response
February 2018

False Information About Breast Cancer Screening

Author Affiliations
  • 1Breast Imaging Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 2Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(2):298. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.7081

To the Editor The Editorial1 by Grady and Redberg in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine commenting on the Research Letter2 reporting that physicians are recommending mammography screening for women starting at the age of 40 years contains false information. Grady and Redberg1 claim that physicians are ignoring the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), but the USPSTF clearly stated that they “…found adequate evidence that mammography screening reduces breast cancer mortality in women aged 40 to 74 years.”3(p280) The American Cancer Society stated, “Women should have the opportunity to begin annual screening between the ages of 40 and 44 years (qualified recommendation).”4(p1599) The qualification was not based on science but because they “thought” that some women might want to wait until age 45 years. Physicians should be applauded for understanding that the data clearly show that screening saves lives for women 40 years and older and that there are no scientifically derived data supporting the age of 50 years as a threshold for screening.

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