Mammography: a contrary view

Ann Intern Med. 1976 Jan;84(1):77-84. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-84-1-77.


Experimental and clinical data on mammography as a tool for population screening are reviewed. The conclusions are that [1] there is good evidence that annual history, physical examination, and mammography can reduce short-term and midrange breast cancer mortality by about one third; [2] the evidence that mammography alone plays a significant role in this reduction is weak and indirect; [4] data on long-term effects of mammography are lacking; [4] no satisfactory investigations of associated radiation hazards have been published; and [5] the possible benefits of mammography have received more emphasis in the clinical literature than have its defects. Promotion of mammography as a general public health measure is premature.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography* / adverse effects
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Dosage
  • United States