Could Annual Mammograms Lead To Higher False Positives

Interesting study today suggesting that if you cut the annual mammogram programme recommended to women to every two years, there would be no rise in cancer but a significant drop in false-positive results.

Researchers in San Francisco studied 14o,000 women between 66 and 89 and concluded:

There were no benefits for women who were screened every year…and the rate of cancers, diabetes and heart disease were similar among all women, including those screened less frequently.

But there was a big difference in the rate of false-positives.  Nearly half of all the women who had annual mammograms had a false-positive reading—which involved further tests, biopsies or even invasive treatment—compared to around 29 per cent of those screened every other year. 

(Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2013; doi: 10.1093/jnci/djs645). WDDTY enews Feb 13

 

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