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The Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis Conundrum: An Oncologist's Viewpoint

Henry G. Kaplan, MD; and Judith A. Malmgren, PhD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From the Swedish Cancer Institute; HealthStat Consulting; and School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Financial Support: By the Kaplan Cancer Research Fund.

Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M12-1538.

Requests for Single Reprints: Henry G. Kaplan, MD, 1221 East Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98104; e-mail, hank.kaplan@swedish.org.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Kaplan: 1221 East Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98104.

Dr. Malmgren: HealthStat Consulting, 12025 9th Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98177.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: H.G. Kaplan, J.A. Malmgren.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: H.G. Kaplan, J.A. Malmgren.

Drafting of the article: H.G. Kaplan, J.A. Malmgren.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: H.G. Kaplan, J.A. Malmgren.

Final approval of the article: H.G. Kaplan, J.A. Malmgren.

Provision of study materials or patients: H.G. Kaplan.

Statistical expertise: J.A. Malmgren.

Obtaining of funding: H.G. Kaplan.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: H.G. Kaplan.

Collection and assembly of data: H.G. Kaplan, J.A. Malmgren.

Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(1):60-61. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-1-201301010-00011
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Ongoing controversy surrounds the appropriate age to begin and the frequency of mammography screening for breast cancer. The authors of this commentary argue that we need to develop more accurate, less invasive tests that not only find cancer early but also determine how aggressive the cancer is and how it should be treated. Until then, they believe the focus should be on finding cancer early with less worry about “overdiagnosis.”

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