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The Big SqueezeA Social and Political History of the Controversial Mammogram$
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Handel Reynolds

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450938

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450938.001.0001

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Overdiagnosis: Mammography’s Burden

Overdiagnosis: Mammography’s Burden

Chapter:
(p.84) 8 Overdiagnosis: Mammography’s Burden
Source:
The Big Squeeze
Author(s):

Handel Reynolds

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450938.003.0009

This chapter discusses mammography-induced breast cancer overdiagnosis, which represents the most significant detrimental consequences of screening. Until recently the issue has received almost no mention in the public education messages of government, advocacy, or professional entities. This deafening silence reflects the long-standing aversion of the proscreening community to any public discussion of mammography's limitations. They have been fearful of “confusing” women with “mixed messages” on screening. The chapter argues mammography-induced overdiagnosis, particularly of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), is the most significant risk of screening. While the subject is complex, the proponents of screening must do a better job of educating the public about this issue. Despite the myriad controversies in its more than forty-year history, mammography remains an indispensable tool in the fight against breast cancer.

Keywords:   screening mammography, mammograms, breast cancer, overdiagnosis, ductal carcinoma in situ

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