False-Positive Recall for Most After 10 Years of Mammograms

And, detection rates are similar for 50- to 79-year-old women with digital, film-screen mammography

MONDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- After 10 years of annual mammography screening for breast cancer, more than 60 percent of women will receive at least one false-positive recall; and, breast cancer detection rates in women aged 50 to 79 years are similar with digital or film-screen mammography, according to two studies published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Rebecca A. Hubbard, Ph.D., from the Group Health Cooperative and School of Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues compared the cumulative probability of false-positive results after 10 years of annual or biennial screening mammography. When screening began at 40 years of age, the cumulative probability of receiving at least one false-positive recall and one false-positive biopsy recommendation was 61.3 and 7.0 percent, respectively, for annual screening, and 41.6 and 4.8 percent, respectively, for biennial screening. Similar estimates were obtained when screening started at age 50 years.

Karla Kerlikowske, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues compared the interpretive performance of digital and film-screen mammography in 329,261 women aged 40 to 79 years. The sensitivity of digital mammography was significantly higher for women aged 60 to 69 (P = 0.014) and for those with estrogen receptor-negative cancer (P = 0.016); the sensitivity was borderline significantly higher for those with extremely dense breasts (P = 0.051), pre- or perimenopausal women (P = 0.057), and for women aged 40 to 49 (P = 0.071). Except for women aged 40 to 49, the specificity of digital and film-screen mammography was similar by decade of age.

"Overall, cancer detection with digital or film-screen mammography is similar in U.S. women aged 50 to 79 years undergoing screening mammography," Kerlikowske and colleagues write.

Abstract - Hubbard
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Abstract - Kerlikowske
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