Navigation Links
Costly Breast Cancer Screenings May Not Help Seniors: Study
Date:1/7/2013

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare spends more than $1 billion each year for breast cancer screenings such as mammography, according to a new study.

However, all that expenditure may not help produce better results for older women, said Dr. Cary Gross, an associate professor of internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. He also directs the Yale Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center.

In the new study, Gross and his colleagues identified more than 137,000 women, aged 66 to 100, who had no history of breast cancer. Gross looked at the costs to fee-for-service Medicare for breast cancer screening during 2006-2007.

The study authors also looked at costs of screening in different regions.

Women living in areas with higher screening costs were as much as 78 percent more likely to be diagnosed with early-stage or in-situ breast cancer as women in regions spending less.

However, regardless of how much was spent on screening, it didn't make a difference in diagnosing late-stage cancers, the investigators found.

This suggests "overdiagnosis" of breast cancers in the regions spending the most on screening, Gross said. This means a cancer that was diagnosed may not have been problematic during a woman's lifetime. However, other experts argue that it's difficult to determine which cancers will become a threat to health.

The study is published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The variation in screening costs by regions, Gross said, is driven by newer and more expensive screening technologies such as digital mammography and computer-aided detection. The costs varied greatly by region of the country, from $42 to $107 per person.

In older women, he said, research is lacking about whether the newer technologies produce better health outcomes.

The overall screening costs of a billion dollars annually are higher than previous researchers have found, Gross noted. He takes issue with Medicare's reimbursement strategy, which the study authors pointed out, "support rapid adoption of newer modalities [methods], frequently without adequate data to support their use."

"Our study is largely directed at policymakers," Gross said. For older women, he explained, the take-home message is this: "Getting more expensive tests for breast cancer does not necessarily produce a better outcome."

And he added, "Our study highlights the insanity of a system that pays substantially more for a new technology without any evidence that it is beneficial in the older population."

The co-author of an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt, a professor of medicine and associate director of population sciences at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., said that the new study "is a call to action to get more research."

The findings, Mandelblatt said, raise the possibility that newer technology may not always be better for all women. Research on the breast cancer screening technologies in older women is lacking "because older women have not been included in sufficient numbers" in research studies, she said.

"One important message for older women is they need to get involved in research studies, they need to advocate for research studies," Mandelblatt said.

Another expert, Judith Malmgren, takes issue with the findings and the emphasis on late-stage cancer detection.

"By focusing only on stage 4, you are not evaluating the overall effectiveness of screening," said Malmgren, an affiliate faculty member with the department of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, who has written about breast cancer screening.

"The purpose of mammography screening is to find early stage cancers," Malmgren said.

More information

To learn more about breast cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Cary Gross, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and director, Yale Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, New Haven, Conn.; Jeanne S. Mandelblatt, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and associate director for population sciences, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Judith Malmgren, Ph.D., affiliate faculty, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle; Jan. 7, 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite hype, costly prostate cancer treatment offers little relief from side effects
2. Communications training, surgical checklist can reduce costly postoperative complications
3. Costly, Repeat Medical Testing Common for Medicare Patients: Study
4. Policy considerations pose options for leaders to reduce costly disparities in diabetes
5. Less-experienced physicians more costly than more-experienced physicians
6. ASBMR task force urges use of fracture liaision services to reduce costly osteoporosis bone breaks
7. New process would make anti-malarial drug less costly
8. Availability of Beds, Poverty Drive Costly Hospital Readmissions
9. Breastfeeding tips women share intrigue doctors
10. Boost Your Bust: Review Examining Jenny Bolton's Breast Enlargement System Released by HonestyFirstReviews.com
11. Breast milk contains more than 700 bacteria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Costly Breast Cancer Screenings May Not Help Seniors: Study
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals ... the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early registration for the ... at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The annual iaedp™ Symposium ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in ... the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab ... City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids ... sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited ... all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, ... ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet ... in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, ... occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in the ... today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology Inc., ... therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 in ... enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy venture. ... Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings over ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest ... Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey ... notes that the medical device industry is in an ... device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical device ... they also want covered patients, increased visits and hospital ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses pulsed ...   ... Jim Bertolina, ... Tom Tefft ... medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business development ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: