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Screening for breast cancer: Evidence for effectiveness and harms

Joann G Elmore, MD, MPH
Section Editor
Mark D Aronson, MD
Deputy Editor
Sadhna R Vora, MD


There is more scientific evidence related to screening for breast cancer, the most common nonskin cancer and second deadliest cancer in women, than for any other cancer.

Decisions about screening require evidence related to effectiveness and harms of screening, and risk of the condition, considered in the context of the patient's values. The evidence addressing the effectiveness (decreasing breast cancer mortality) of several modalities for screening for breast cancer in women and harms that occur from breast cancer screening are discussed here. Multiple aspects related to breast cancer screening are discussed in separate topics, as follows:

Strategies and recommendations for breast cancer screening (See "Screening for breast cancer: Strategies and recommendations".)

Breast cancer risk and risk prediction models (See "Risk prediction models for breast cancer screening".)

Performance characteristics of mammography (See "Breast imaging for cancer screening: Mammography and ultrasonography".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 29, 2015.
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