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Women over 70 risk breast cancer overdiagnosis with screening, U.S. study finds

By Elissa Welle

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The study also did not find statistically significant reductions in breast cancer deaths associated with screening.

One mistaken belief a lot of people have is that more testing is always good, but as the study of this articles proves this is not always the case. Clinicians have to carefully consider a lot of things in order to make the decision of a test, how much benefit it brings to the patient, how much risk, what are the costs, etc.

As the final part of the article conveniently mentions this decision can be made easier by better tools for the diagnosis that can let doctors get much better information. Breast cancer can be cured for all practical means (as in eliminated completely so the patient will live the rest of their lives without a recurrence) for most patients as long as it is detected opportunely.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I wonder if the bus that can barely park on the city curb doing mammograms has clinicians that are making these delicate assessments? My suspicion is they are processing people through like a Moss burger drive-thru given what I see during lunch hour. But that could be irrational, non-scientific observation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Generally speaking the decision about a patient needing or not a test is done well before it is conducted, so patients are informed during their visits to a doctor about what frequency is better for their testing.

As long as the test is done properly, the interpretation of the results can be done later by professionals that will take into account many factors not necessarily considered at the time of the test (family history of disease for example) at the time these results are communicated to the patient they can also be informed if they should change the way they are being tested according to their specific situation as well.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

X-ray causes cancer. The solution is the cause sometimes.

And making money out of something routinely making you more money too.

The more is not necessarily the better, quite mofe than one thinks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Like many many medicine effects, dosage is very important. Minimum effective dose and listing side effects is something needing a lot of time to establish.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My spouse limits hers to one every two years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

X-ray causes cancer. The solution is the cause sometimes.

Generally speaking the risk of cancer by a mammography is terribly low (as one case per tens of thousands of times of exposure) in this case the much more significative risk is because unnecessary treatments (surgery chemo radio). Still, both kind of risks can be reduced with a proper algorithm that can let professionals choose the best schedule to maximize benefits and minimize the risks.

And making money out of something routinely making you more money too

As long as the person is getting the best possible medical treatment (including preventive one) according to scientific evidence this is not something that should impact negatively the decision of how frequently they should get tested. Getting a more advance cancer to minimize the profit someone may be making from the tests is a losing proposition.

Minimum effective dose and listing side effects is something needing a lot of time to establish.

For mammography tests this is not a problem, the dosage of radiation can be immediately established because it does not depend on any effect that will take time to be observed, the necessary dose is simply the one that give images precise enough to evaluate the risk of cancer. Also ionizing radiation is well studied so side effects are already well characterized and can be evaluated without problem, specially with a source with a known amount and that is very stable such as diagnostic x-rays.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is an area where AI, which is replacing jobs in the health field, could make a major impact.

Take your blood pressure, give people a Covid test, correctly diagnose mammograms.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

AI do not have the capacity to take blood pressure measurements, give tests or diagnose by itself, it can help professionals do these tasks but they are still necessary to complete all those actions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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