Are Pricey Computer-Aided Mammograms Worth It?

Early breast cancer found more often in large study, but not more cases of invasive disease

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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.

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