Clinical practice. Mammographic screening for breast cancer

N Engl J Med. 2003 Apr 24;348(17):1672-80. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcp021804.


A 44-year-old woman who is a new patient has no known current health problems and no family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Eighteen months ago, she had a normal screening mammogram. She recently read that mammograms may not help to prevent death from breast cancer and that “the patient should decide.” But she does not think she knows enough. She worries that there is a breast-cancer epidemic. What should her physician advise?

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography* / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors