MRIs for breast cancer screening

I was going to talk about it, but Bard-Parker beat me to it. I guess that’s what headlines are for, but people simply read the headline (“Study Finds MRIs Better on Breast Cancer”) and jump to a conclusion. Already had someone ask me for a screening MRI of her breasts this morning. It comes as no surprise that the MRI has the higher sensitivity (i.e. less missed diagnoses). But the important point to emphasize is the increased false positives (i.e. decreased specificity) leading to more biopsies, as well as the impact on cost (MRIs cost 10 times as much as mammograms).

Clearly, more research is needed, as well as any impact on survival (still debatable with mammograms).

Edit: The link above has expired. Here is the same story from the NYT.

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