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Proceedings Paper

Risks And Benefits In Mammography-Estimating The Inestimable
Author(s): John C. Bailar
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Paper Abstract

The potential benefits of X-ray mammography in the early detection of breast cancer have been widely discussed. The risks have not. Every type and energy level of ionizing radiation that has been seriously studied has been found to be carcinogenic, and abundant evidence from both animal and human studies shows that breast cells are sensitive to malignant change from radiation. However, there are no data on long-term effects of precisely the kind of radiation used in mammography. Thus we must extrapolate, and this paper discusses one way to do so. Results are distinctly unfavorable to the mammographic screening of the general asymptomatic population of women under the age of 50. The burden of proof now rests on those who claim that mammography is safe. They have no directly applicable data either, and some of their own extrapolations will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 December 1976
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 0096, Application of Optical Instrumentation in Medicine V, (23 December 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.965456
Show Author Affiliations
John C. Bailar, National Cancer Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0096:
Application of Optical Instrumentation in Medicine V
Robert K. Cacak; Paul L. Carson; Gregory Dubuque; Joel E. Gray; William R. Hendee; Raymond P. Rossi; Arthur Haus, Editor(s)

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