Mammography is a high risk liability field

The detection rate of breast cancers on mammograms ranged from 29 to 97 percent in a study
“His team studied doctors’ actual performance in interpreting more than 1.2 million mammograms and compared this with data from cancer registries in four states.

Doctors who interpreted 2,500 to 4,000 mammograms a year were the most accurate and had the fewest false positives, meaning they thought something was a tumour but it was not.

On average, physicians could find 77 per cent of cancers in a mammogram and the average false positive rate was 10 per cent.”

Do you need any more proof that mammography is a high-risk liability field? With such ambiguity, this is a plaintiff lawyer’s gold mine.

A commenter writes below: “Why don’t you doctors press for the widespread adoption of digital mammography and computer expert systems that can better identify possible tumors – better than those error-prone human beings can?”

Thanks for bringing that up. Perhaps they missed the recent story suggesting that little data supports digital mammography:

Digital mammography provides no clear-cut improvements over traditional film X-rays in the ability to detect cases of breast cancer, says a new technology assessment report . . .

. . . Three large trials of the technology have been completed, with several thousand women receiving digital mammograms in each. No statistically significant differences in detection rates were observed between the x-ray and the new digital technology. The patients in each group experienced identical positioning and compression of the breast.

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