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An open letter to panels that are deciding guidelines for breast cancer screening


Panels are presently reviewing breast cancer screening guidelines. It is critical that they understand which publications are scientifically valid, and which analyses are methodologically flawed and not valid. The scientific evidence clearly supports annual mammography screening beginning at the age of 40. The analyses that suggest that screening leads to overdiagnosis of invasive breast cancers are flawed and incorrect. There is little if any overdiagnosis of these cancers. The vast majority of breast cancers occur in women who are not at elevated risk so that excluding them from screening and only screening high risk women will deny the benefits of early detection to most women who develop breast cancer. Guidelines panels should not make decisions that exclude women from screening. Women should be provided with accurate information so that they can make informed decisions and have unimpeded access to screening if that is their preference.

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Dr. Kopans has no conflict of interest to disclose.

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Correspondence to Daniel B. Kopans.

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Kopans, D.B. An open letter to panels that are deciding guidelines for breast cancer screening. Breast Cancer Res Treat 151, 19–25 (2015).

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  • Breast
  • Breast cancer
  • Screening
  • Mammography