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April 20, 2020

The Life and Death of Mammograms in Patients 75 Years and Older—To Screen or Not to Screen?

Author Affiliations
  • 1David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California
  • 2Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena, California
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(6):843-844. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0431

Discussions about stopping breast cancer screening in asymptomatic women 75 years and older are challenging for both physicians and women. Because randomized clinical trials that evaluated screening mammography excluded women in this age group, there are no empirical trial data that address whether screening women 75 years and older is beneficial. In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Schonberg et al1 evaluated a decision aid to help older women decide whether to continue screening mammography. Most of the information conveyed in the decision aid studied by Schonberg and colleagues was based on evidence-based extrapolations from simulation modeling and was clearly presented. Women who were randomized to receive the decision aid were more knowledgeable about screening and more likely to discuss mammography with their primary care clinician. Almost all said that they would recommend it to others.

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