Dr. Robert Smith, senior director of cancer screening for the American Cancer Society, said that the study is "not an accurate look at one year versus two years." For the study, annual was defined as intervals of nine to 18 months, for instance, and two years as more than 18 to 30 months.
Kerlikowske, in response, said this interval variability reflects real life.
Despite that criticism, Smith said the type of individualized screening studied in the new research is the direction that cancer prevention is headed. "If we can identify more clearly not only who will and who will not get cancer, but what those screening intervals are and if they can be screened safely at a longer interval, that would be good," he said.
"Some day we may be able to say certain women can have longer intervals," Smith said.
To learn more about breast cancer risk factors, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: Karla Kerlikowske, M.D., professor of medicine, epidemiology and biostatistics, School of Medicine, and Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco; Daniel Kopans, M.D., professor of radiology, Harvard Medical School, and member, American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission, and senior radiologist, breast imaging division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; March 18, 2013, statement, American College of Radiology; February 2011, American Journal of Roentgenology; March 18, 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine, online
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