Research Article

American and European recommendations for screening mammography in younger women: a cultural divide?

BMJ 1993; 307 doi: (Published 04 December 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;307:1481
  1. I Jatoi,
  2. M Baum
  1. Academic Department of Surgery, Royal Marsden Hospital, London.


    The American Cancer Society advocates mammography screening for all women from age 40, whereas in Europe it is not recommended for women below the age of 50. Randomised prospective studies have failed to show a significant benefit from screening women aged under 50 and five potentially harmful effects of screening should be considered: lead time, overdiagnosis, radiation exposure, false positive results, and cost. Younger women must be properly informed about the potential for harm as well as for benefit before screening.