Risk for Breast Cancer Increased With False-Positive Screening Result

Increased risk for screen-detected and interval breast cancer persists for 12 years after false-positive result

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FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Women with prior false-positive screening results have an increased risk for screen-detected and interval breast cancer for more than 10 years, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in the British Journal of Cancer.

Marta Román, from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues examined the long-term risk for screen-detected and interval breast cancer in women with a false-positive result using data from three population-based screening programs in Europe. Overall, 75,513 women aged 50 to 69 years from Denmark, 556,640 from Norway, and 517,314 from Spain were included. The correlation between false-positive results and the risk for subsequent screen-detected and interval cancer was examined.

The researchers found that 1,149,467 women underwent 3,510,450 screening exams during follow-up; 10,623 and 5,700 screen-detected and interval cancers, respectively, were diagnosed. Women with false-positive results had a twofold increased risk for screen-detected and interval cancer compared with women with negative tests (hazard ratios, 2.04 and 2.18, respectively). The risk for screen-detected and interval cancer was increased more than fourfold for women with a second false-positive result (hazard ratios, 4.71 and 4.22, respectively). For 12 years after the false-positive result, women remained at an elevated risk.

"Based on our findings it might be advisable to inform women with false-positive results about their specific increased risk for screen-detected and interval breast cancer," the authors write. "The highly increased risk reveals a sub-group of women that may be eligible for more intensive screening strategies."

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