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Are Pricey Computer-Aided Mammograms Worth It?
Date:4/15/2013

AD was related to finding invasive cancers at smaller sizes and earlier stages than before the CAD era," said Kopans, also a member of the American College of Radiology's Breast Imaging Commission. "There should be no argument that finding invasive cancers at a smaller size and earlier stage is beneficial," he said, as they are more likely to be cured.

While he calls finding more DCIS with computer-aided detection also ''likely a good thing," he acknowledged the debate about the possibility that a very early cancer in an elderly woman may not cause a problem in her lifetime. Although the treatment of DCIS is debated among experts, Kopans said, "In my mind, it is always worth it to find additional cancers."

One limitation of the study, he said, is that the researchers cannot say for sure it was the computer-aided detection that made the difference. Other factors could have played a role, such as the radiologists becoming more experienced, he said.

More information

To learn more about mammography, visit the American College of Radiology/Radiological Society of North America.

SOURCES: Joshua Fenton, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of family and community medicine, University of California, Davis; Daniel Kopans, M.D., professor of radiology, Harvard Medical School, senior radiologist, breast imaging division, Massachusetts General Hospital, and member, American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission; April 16, 2013, Annals of Internal Medicine


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