Consensus Review Improves Breast Cancer Detection

Consensus review of discordant mammography results leads to increased cancer detection with low false-negative rate

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Consensus review of discordant mammography findings improves cancer detection while reducing the number of unnecessary and stressful callbacks of non-cancer patients for further assessment, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

Colette M. Shaw, of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, and colleagues assessed the sensitivity, safety and effect of consensus review on the detection of breast cancer in a cohort of 1,335 cases identified from 128,569 mammography screenings. Independent double reading of mammograms was performed, and the findings were reviewed by a consensus panel in the event of a discordant finding.

Of the 1,335 cases reviewed by the consensus panel, nearly half (45.39 percent, or 606 cases) were recalled for further assessment, the researchers report. Of these, 71 ductal carcinomas and invasive cancers were diagnosed. The report indicates that consensus review led to the detection of 7.3 percent of all cancers diagnosed at the center in 2000-2005. The false-negative rate of the consensus review was considered to be very low (0.72 percent), the authors add.

"As calcifications were the most important finding leading to a diagnosis of cancer in women who were recalled or to a false-negative finding in women who were not recalled, we now have an extremely low threshold for recalling patients with discordant findings in whom calcifications are the abnormal mammographic finding," Shaw and colleagues conclude.

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