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Spending more money on breast cancer screening does not result in better outcomes
Spending more money on breast cancer screening does not result in better outcomes

(January 7, 2013 - Insidermedicine)

From Connecticut – Costly breast cancer screening does not appear to better outcomes in older women, according to a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers followed over 137,000 older women for two years, all of whom were cancer free at the outset of the study. The cost of screening and subsequent incidence of breast cancer was reviewed.  

Researchers found that cost varied by geographical region, and that outcomes among older women were no better in regions that used more expensive screening technologies and spent more money per person on screening. In particular, there was no association between more money spent and the detection of advanced breast cancers.

We spoke with Dr. Cary Gross, MD, principal investigator of this study, who offered further insight.

"We found that the US medicare program is spending over 1 billion dollars per year on breast cancer screening. And moreover, when we looked at regions of the country that are spending more on cancer screening, we found that higher spending regions were not achieving any better cancer outcomes than the lower spending regions.

We found that regions of the country that have adopted new and more expensive approaches to screening for breast cancer were not really finding clinical benefit in terms of less late-stage disease. This suggests that maybe spending more on breast cancer

 
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