Nation IN BRIEF : NATIONWIDE : Error Reported in Breast Cancer Study

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Researchers who reported in July that family history appeared to play a slightly smaller role in breast cancer than previously believed backed off, saying they had erred. The researchers had said heredity appears to account for about 2.5% of total breast cancer cases, but corrected that to 6%. That is more in line with other findings. "We took the wrong number and multiplied it by the wrong number," said Dr. Graham A. Colditz, a co-author of the study. Another study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. estimated that 17% to 19% of all such malignancies are due mainly to family history. Different methods likely account for the studies' varying results, a cancer expert said.

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