Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Physicians Who Interpret Mammograms May Benefit From Additional Training

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute study identifies criteria for low performance

A multi-site study led by an Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute researcher has identified set criteria that could be used to help identify physicians who might benefit from additional training in interpreting screening mammograms.

Patricia A. Carney, Ph.D., OHSU School of Medicine professor of family medicine, and of public health and preventive Medicine; and associate director of Cancer Prevention, Control and Population Studies in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, is the principal investigator on the study, and the lead author of a paper on these findings published in the May edition of the journal Radiology.

The study was performed over eight months in 2009. A panel of 10 expert radiologists was chosen to analyze performance data from hundreds of interpreting physicians across the United States. The panel members were considered experts because they had devoted more than 75 percent of their time to breast imaging, had been interpreting mammograms for at least 10 years, had either completed fellowship training in breast imaging, or had more than 15 years’ experience interpreting mammograms. The majority of the interpreting physicians whose performance data were analyzed were radiologists.

The study did not identify individual physicians, but rather looked at several measures that reflect the accuracy of interpretive performance, such as accuracy of detecting breast cancer, and potential overuse of additional tests for findings that turn out to be benign. The panel identified criteria, or “cut points,” that targeted ranges of low-performance measures. By applying these criteria to physicians interpreting screening mammograms whose performance is known, the researchers found that as many as 18 percent to 28 percent of physicians interpreting screening mammography could benefit from additional training in detecting breast cancer accurately, and as many as 34 percent to 49 percent may need help to reduce the likelihood of unnecessary work ups.

“It is important to note that mammography is not a perfect test, even with the most expert radiologists,” says Carney. “We have identified what we believe to be minimally acceptable performance levels for interpreters of screening mammography. It is also important to note that we looked at several ranges of measures, all of which need to be taken into account when identifying low performers. Physicians who interpret screening mammograms and whose performance fall outside the identified cut-points might benefit from additional training to improve their interpretive performance.”

“It is true that physicians who interpret screening mammograms below our cut points may be missing cancers and doing unnecessary workups,” says Carney. “We want to give these physicians the tools they need to interpret screening mammograms at the highest level.”

Carney acknowledges the results of the study are controversial. “This is the first time anyone has identified criteria for low performance,” she says, “but women having mammograms should not be overly concerned by these findings because every mammography facility has a designated physician who is charged with monitoring available performance measures.” Carney advises all women to talk to their physicians about their concerns regarding screening mammograms and their personal risk factors for breast cancer. “If you have any concerns at all, based upon your risk, you could ask for a second interpreter to look at your film.”

The study was a collaboration among OHSU; the Universities of California: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Irvine; Washington University; St. Louis, Carol Anne Read Breast Health Center, Oakland, Calif.; the American Cancer Society; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, Wash; Stevens Hospital Breast Center, Edmonds, Wash.; Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Wash.; Carol Milgard Breast Center, Tacoma, Wash.; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Vermont; University of North Carolina; Dartmouth Medical School; and The Cooper Institute in Denver, Colo.

The study was supported by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium . The collection of cancer data used in this study was supported in part by several state public health departments and cancer registries throughout the United States. The study was made possible by a generous donation from the Longaberger Company's Horizon of Hope Campaign.

About the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Visit
With the latest treatments, technologies, hundreds of research studies and approximately 400 clinical trials, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only cancer center between Sacramento and Seattle designated by the National Cancer Institute — an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. The honor is shared among the more than 650 doctors, nurses, scientists and staff who work together at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to reduce the impact of cancer.
About OHSU
The Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only health and research university, and Oregon's only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government). OHSU’s size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.

Reed Coleman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>