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The Boston Globe

Metro

Study links mammograms to overtreatment

Breast cancer specialists reject findings, back testing

Researchers estimated Wednesday that mammograms caused more than 1 million American women over the past three decades to be diagnosed with early-stage breast cancers that would not have proved fatal if left undetected and untreated — a controversial finding sure to provoke more heated debate over the benefits of the screenings.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that these women were “overdiagnosed” and “overtreated” because few lives were saved.

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