A commonly used mammogram diagnostic tool known as CAD does a poor job of identifying breast tumors, a large study finds. Computer-aided detection (CAD) appears to increase a woman’s risk of being called back needlessly for additional testing following mammography, according to an analysis of 1.6 million mammograms in seven states. The findings are the most definitive findings to date on the tool’s effectiveness.
“In real-world practice, CAD increases the chances of being unnecessarily called back for further testing because of false-positive results without clear benefits to women,” says Joshua Fenton, assistant professor in the family and community medicine department at the University of California, Davis. “Breast cancers were detected at a similar stage and size regardless of whether or not radiologists used CAD.”
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(Photo credit: Robert Durrell)