Bmj Usa

Prevention, early detection, or treatment?

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 14 April 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:E344
  1. Douglas Kamerow, editor

According to the American Cancer Society, the death rate from breast cancer for women has decreased about 2% annually since 1990. Why are fewer American women dying of breast cancer? Possibilities include changes in the biological behavior of breast cancer (unlikely), decreased incidence rate (preventing breast cancer from occurring), improved early detection (finding curable cancers), or better treatment (using new therapies that prolong life). But which one?

With increased mammographic screening, it is no surprise to find that the incidence …

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