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Researchers from UC Davis reported Wednesday that computer-aided (CAD) screenings for breast cancer are ineffective and force women to endure testing for no reason.CAD mammogrophy is widely used in the U.S. and accounts for $30 million of annual medicare spending alone.
According to the Los Angeles Times the report, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, examined 1.6 million mammograms and found that CAD was not only ineffective, it actually increased false positive results in .5 per cent of the exams.
This further burdens healthcare costs by requiring more tests.
The study’s author Dr. Joshua Fenton says: “In real-world practice, CAD increases the chances of being unnecessarily called back for further testing because of false-positive results without clear benefits to women,”
CAD software was approved by the FDA in 1998 and since then has added an additional $12 for every screening, or from nine to 15 per cent additional cost.
The report went farther than the 2007 article published by Fenton in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“In the current study, we evaluated newer technology in a larger sample and over a longer time period,” Fenton noted in a statement to the press. “We also looked for the first time at cancer stage and cancer size, which are critical for understanding how CAD may affect long-term breast cancer outcomes, such as mortality.”
The study was conducted by the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and the American Cancer Society.
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