Implications of Suspicious Findings in Breast Cancer Screening

J. David Lewis, MD; John R. Milbrath, MD; Katherine A. Shaffer, MD; Jerome J. DeCosse, MD
Arch Surg. 1975;110(8):903-907. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360140047010.
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Breast cancer screening, performed on asymptomatic women over 35 years of age, has identified 32 breast cancers in 30 of 4,500 women screened. Screening included a physical examination by trained technologists, thermography, and xeromammography. This represents 26% of the biopsies performed (116). Results of xeromammography were suspicious in 24 cases (80%), and results of physical examination were suspicious in 11 (37%). Only six were suspicious by both methods, with one other having changes that were considered benign. Fourteen (44%) were microinvasive or noninvasive. Only two (6%) had axillary metastases. Breast cancer detected by screening is in its "early" stages and is usually well localized. Operative management, including removal of the entire breast, has a significant potential for cure. Thirty patients with changes considered suspicious have not yet had biopsies. Improved overall survival depends on appropriate management of all patients screened.


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