Breast cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer among women in the United States. It casts a shadow over the lives of one of every 19 women. And, despite all research and clinical efforts, there has been no significant reduction in the breast cancer death rate over the past 30 years.
Efforts to find a way to reduce mortality from breast cancer are therefore worthy of widespread attention. An effort that ranks high in boldness and hope is described by Shapiro, Strax, and Venet in this issue of The Journal (p 731). The aim of the investigation is to establish whether a breast cancer screening program using x-ray mammography and clinical examinations holds substantial promise for lowering mortality.
The stimulus for the investigation originated from the encouraging reports about the value of x-ray mammography for differential diagnostic purposes and the ability to detect nonpalpable breast lesions with this