John K. Whiteford, MD; John Ryan Whiteford, MD
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Whiteford JK, Whiteford JR. Screening for Breast Cancer. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:768-769. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-138-9-200305060-00020
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(9):768-769.
TO THE EDITOR:
We write in response to Humphrey and colleagues' article on breast cancer screening (1). The annual rate of new, treated cases of breast cancer has more than tripled since mammography screening began in the United States, an increase exclusive to women who have been screened.
Four random autopsy studies (2-5), using Kramer's exhaustive microscopic detection technique, predict that 16 million women with undiagnosed breast cancer are present in the current population of the United States. Of those cancers, 88% are in situ and 12% are invasive. Most women with breast cancer do not benefit from treatment, since it would take 400 years for the 16 million U.S. women with undiagnosed breast cancer to die of the disease at the current mortality rate of 40 000 women per year.
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