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A Lesson from the Mammography Issue

Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(5):703-704. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-5-703
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In the United States, breast cancer is a major neoplastic disease that accounted for almost 90 000 new cases in 1977 and 38 000 deaths. One of every 14 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime (1). The American Cancer Society (ACS) has for years advocated self-examination because 90% of all breast cancers are first detected by the patient herself. Its hope was that early detection and evaluation of a breast lump would lead to a more favorable prognosis. In the 1960s mammography was introduced after finding that X rays of mastectomy specimens contained characteristic calcifications or mass effects




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