Medicine: Mixed Messages on Mammograms

Confused and fearful, many women are shying away from tests

More than any other disease of women, breast cancer symbolizes pain, mutilation and death. The disease strikes 1 woman in 10 and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among females in the U.S., where it has the highest incidence in the world. This year 135,000 new cases will be diagnosed, and the disease will kill 42,000 women. Worse, its incidence is rising: last month the National Cancer Institute reported significant increases during both 1984 and 1985, the most recent period for which figures are available. Equally troubling, deaths from breast cancer among young and middle-aged women are increasing. Despite...

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