Half of Women Get False-Positive Mammograms Over Time

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Half of Women Get False-Positive Mammograms Over TimeDenise Mann

WEDNESDAY, March 30, 2022

Totally half of all girls who’ve annual mammograms to display screen for breast cancer will obtain a false-positive take a look at consequence over a decade of screening, in response to a brand new research.

False-positive outcomes name for additional testing and ultimately rule out cancer. False alarms can definitely improve anxiety.

“Ladies present process screening mammography needs to be conscious that being recalled for added imaging is frequent and take a look at to not fear,” stated research writer Diana Miglioretti, a professor and division chief of biostatistics on the College of California, Davis. “More often than not, the extra imaging reveals that every part is regular.”

For the study, Miglioretti and her colleagues analyzed knowledge from shut to three million screening mammograms for greater than 903,000 girls between 40 and 79 years of age. The contributors underwent breast cancer screening between 2005 and 2018 at 126 radiology facilities.

The research discovered the danger of false-positive outcomes is decrease in girls who’re screened each different 12 months.

Yearly screening with newer 3D know-how known as digital breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammography modestly decreased the percentages of a false optimistic compared with the usual digital 2D mammography.

Of ladies who obtained a false-positive consequence after an annual 3D mammogram, 17% wanted further imaging, and 11% wanted a biopsy to rule out cancer. These numbers have been simply barely increased amongst girls screened with digital 2D mammograms.

Older girls and girls who do not have dense breasts have been much less prone to get a false-positive consequence, the research confirmed.

There’s been an ongoing debate throughout the medical neighborhood about how typically girls ought to endure breast cancer screening.

The U.S. Preventive Providers Process Drive recommends girls who’re at common threat for breast cancer get their first mammogram at age 50, after which each two years till age 74.

In the meantime, the American Cancer Society says 40- to 44-year-old girls ought to contemplate annual mammograms. They’re advisable for girls between 45 and 54 years of age.

“Screening each two years has been discovered to be efficient for most ladies when it comes to detecting cancer early whereas decreasing the harms of screening corresponding to false positives,” Miglioretti stated.

Nonetheless, she stated, tips aren’t written in stone.

“Some girls at increased threat of superior cancer regardless of screening may select to display screen yearly, for instance, postmenopausal girls who’re obese or taking hormone replacement therapy,” Miglioretti stated. “If girls are not sure, they need to discuss with their clinicians concerning the tradeoffs of annual versus biennial screening.”

The research was printed March 25 in JAMA Network Open.

Being known as again after a screening mammogram or ultrasound for added photos or a biopsy needs to be thought-about routine, stated Dr. Laurie Margolies, chief of breast imaging at Mount Sinai Well being System in New York Metropolis. She was not a part of the research, however reviewed the findings.

“It’s not a reason behind alarm as more often than not we are able to clear folks with further photos,” Margolies stated.

Getting a mammogram each two years as an alternative of yearly is a “main mistake,” she warned. The brand new research does not have a look at cancers discovered by yearly screens in contrast with screens completed each two years.


A lump in the breast is almost always cancer. See Answer

“Individuals who skip a mammogram typically have bigger cancers and are actually sorry that they did not come the earlier 12 months when the cancer would have been smaller and simpler to deal with,” Margolies stated.

Mammograms aren’t excellent, however they’re getting higher, stated Dr. Marisa Weiss, founder and chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org and Breasthealth.org in Ardmore, Pa.

“We nonetheless want higher strategies of early detection that each scale back the danger of a false optimistic [false alarm] and decrease the danger of a false adverse [missing a cancer] for all girls, particularly younger girls who usually tend to have dense breasts, an inherited high-risk predisposition, and extra at stake: younger youngsters, rising careers, extra years of life in danger,” stated Weiss, who has no ties to the analysis.

Extra data

Breastcancer.org has extra about breast cancer screening.

SOURCES: Diana Miglioretti, PhD, professor, division chief of biostatistics, College of California, Davis; Laurie Margolies, MD, chief, breast imaging, Mount Sinai Well being System, New York Metropolis; Marisa Weiss, MD, founder/chief medical officer, Breastcancer.org and Breasthealth.org, Ardmore, Pa.; JAMA Community Open, March 25, 2022

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