Current Month 2005
Article Features
  FDA Approves Abraxane for the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer
Study Provides Clues to Alcohol's Cancer Connection
Botox Could Reduce Pain During Breast Reconstruction
Researchers Find Circulating Tumor Cells in Long-Term Cancer Survivors
Alarming Ignorance of Cancer Risk
Poor Response to Chemotherapy Does Not Mean Poor Outcome for Patients with Rare Breast Cancer
Deficient DNA Repair Capacity Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
Researchers Report Success with New Molecular Breast Imaging Technique
Breast Reconstruction with Implants after Mastectomy Does Not Hurt Survival
Insulin, Physical Activity, Caloric Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women
Uncovering the Science Behind the Breast Cancer Protective Effect of Olive Oil
Study Reveals How Cancer-Causing Protein Activates
Psychiatric Study for Stage IV Cancer Patients to Measure Psychoactive Medication
Ending Racial Disparities in Health Care Could Save Five Times More Lives Than Tech Advances
Adding Radiation Therapy to Chemotherapy Improves Survival in High Risk Breast Cancer Patients
Research Sheds Light on How Cancer Cells Become Resistant to Treatment
Residual Tumor Cells are a Barrier to Targeted Cancer Therapeutics
Study Examines Impact of Two-Year Screening Interval for Breast Cancer
Levels of Sex Hormones May Be Associated With Increased Risk of Some Types of Breast Cancer
Common Antidepressants Lower Effects of Tamoxifen in Some Women
New Research to Focus on Tumor Stem Cells as Target for Breast Cancer Therapy
Decision to Take Tamoxifen is Difficult for Many Women
Study Examines Relationship of Vitamin A Pathway to Breast Tumor Progression

Patients with Cancer Detected on Screening Mammography Undergo Less Toxic Treatment

Women who have their breast cancers detected by physical examinations are at least twice as likely to undergo toxic treatments than those who have their cancer detected by mammography-regardless of the age of the woman, a new study shows. The study reviewed 992 women with invasive breast cancer; 460 of them had their cancer detected on screening mammography and 532 on physical examination, said the lead author of the study, Richard J. Barth, Jr., MD, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The study appears in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Better Training and Discussion Lead to Better Mammography Interpretations

The accuracy of mammographic interpretation can vary widely, but the source of the variability has not been explained. To investigate the relationship between radiologists' characteristics and actual performance, William E. Barlow, Ph.D., of Cancer Research and Biostatistics in Seattle, and colleagues surveyed 124 radiologists and tracked cancer outcomes from the more than 460,000 screening mammograms they interpreted between 1996 and 2001.

Their findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Greater volume of mammograms interpreted and more years of experience were not associated with greater accuracy. However, greater volume was associated with higher sensitivity (more true positive results in women who had breast cancer) and lower specificity (more false positive results in women who did not have breast cancer) whereas more experience was associated with lower sensitivity and higher specificity. The authors conclude that increasing volume requirements for radiologists is unlikely to improve the interpretation of mammograms.

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