Cancer screening tests can frequently produce false positive outcomes that may result not only in anxiety but also additional economic costs as well, according to research conducted by scientists at the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Mich., and published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Among 1,087 individuals participating in a cancer screening trial who received a battery of tests for prostate, ovarian, colorectal and lung cancer, 43 percent had at least one false positive test result, according to Jennifer Elston Lafata, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Services Research at the Henry Ford Health System and the lead author on the study.
"As new cancer screening tests are developed it is important to consider not only their potential clinical benefits, but also their potential for adverse effects," said Lafata, director of the Center for Health Services Research at the Henry Ford Health System. "One such adverse effect is the medical care costs associated with false positive cancer screening test results. Although such costs are often overlooked, weve shown they can be quite substantial."
Russell Vanderboom | EurekAlert!
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