Study: The Impact of False-Positive Mammogram Results on Subsequent Patient Behavior

Receiving a positive mammogram result, then learning on follow-up that nothing is wrong, is good news.

But a false positive mammogram has a dangerous downside: It may reduce the likelihood that a woman returns for later screenings, increasing her risk for a late-stage cancer, according to a new study appearing in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, as reported in the New York Times.

“Getting a false positive can be a traumatic experience,” said the lead author, Firas M. Dabbous, an epidemiologist with the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “But it should not deter women from coming back. Mammography screening is the most common widely accepted tool for detecting early tumors. Early detection results in improved survival.”

Learn more about these results, affecting the emotional reconstruction of women everywhere as breast cancer expert Dr. Jay Harness describes it, in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, and in the New York Times.

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