Breast Cancer Screening: Making Sense of Controversial Issues

December 31, 2006

For more than a decade,screeningmammography hasbeen the subject ofintense public scrutinyand debate. Probably atno time has this debatebeen more heated thanduring the last 3 years,which saw the publicationof the now-famous “Danishstudy” as well as a majorexposé of poor quality controland radiologic interpretationerrors in the mammographyindustry (Box).

For more than a decade,screeningmammography hasbeen the subject ofintense public scrutinyand debate. Probably atno time has this debatebeen more heated thanduring the last 3 years,which saw the publicationof the now-famous "Danishstudy" as well as a majorexpos of poor quality controland radiologic interpretationerrors in the mammographyindustry (Box).While the debate maynot currently be at a ragingboil, questions aboutscreening mammogramscontinue to simmer inthe minds of many patients.These patients lookto you for answers--andguidance.The editors of CONSULTANTasked physiciansfrom a variety of relevantmedical specialties whatadvice they would offerprimary care practitionerson how to address theirpatients' concerns--andon how to provide the bestpossible preventive care.Here we present theirresponses.--The Editors