A new long-term study finds over 20 years, only one in five women who have mammograms every two years will have to undergo follow up evaluation for a false positive finding. Only one in 16 will have an unnecessary invasive procedure over two decades. The study, published August 23, 2004 in the online edition of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, should reassure physicians and patients that the risks of breast cancer screening are minimal given the notable benefit of breast cancer screening. The abstract of this article will be freely accessible via the CANCER Newsroom upon online publication.
Breast cancer screening by regular screening mammography has a proven benefit to saving lives. However, false positives and subsequent recall for follow up evaluation create significant psychosocial distress.
The extent of false positive recall is unclear. Previous studies have claimed the cumulative risk of a high false positive recall over the years was significant. However, the estimates and conclusions made to date are weakened by flawed study designs.
David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
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