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Breast Cancer Screening: Why, When, and How Many?


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: March 2011 - Volume 54 - Issue 1 - p 125–132
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e318208020d
Breast Cancer: Pursuing State of the Art Care

This article focuses on breast cancer screening in the general population. Using an evidence-based medicine approach, a review of the current literature was undertaken to examine the rationale, risks, and benefits of breast cancer screening. The focus of breast cancer screening is to reduce disease mortality. However, there are additional benefits that are afforded by early detection, such as an early stage of diagnosis and a greater chance of having negative lymph nodes. Currently, we believe mammography offers significant benefits for breast cancer detection and mortality reduction in the general population. Further research is necessary on methods to minimize false-positive results.

Breast Surgery Service and Gynecology Service, Department ofSurgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York

Sources of support requiring acknowledgment: None.

Correspondence: Mary L. Gemignani, MD, MPH, Breast Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.