Accuracy of highly touted mammogram exam system in doubt – International Herald Tribune:

Computer-aided detection, the researchers wrote, “was associated with significantly higher false positive rates, recall rates, and biopsy rates and with significantly lower overall accuracy.” With computer-aided detection, 31 percent more women were called in for additional tests and 20 percent more had biopsies. There was another potential problem. CAD did not clearly increase the detection of breast cancer.

Oops. 15 years ago, when the computer-aided systems were just coming through research, people raised exactly this concern. And an increase of 20% in biopsies for the same cancer-detection rate is not a trivial cost, whether you measure it in money, medical resources, complications or emotional rollercoaster.

But at least the screening centers get paid more for each mammogram evaluated by computer….


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