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Do False-Positive Mammograms Predict Cancer Risk?

Study: False-Positive Mammograms May Indicate Increased Breast Cancer Risk

U.S. May Be Different, Expert Says

Even if the results are confirmed, it is not clear if the findings apply to women in the United States, Bernick says.

That is because far more women in the U.S. are called back for second-look screenings or biopsies after initial mammograms.

"We have a much lower threshold for calling women back because of the nature of our health care system, so you can't necessarily equate what is happening overseas to what is happening here," Bernick says.

A nationwide study published last October found that 61% of women in the U.S. screened annually for 10 years will have at least one false-positive reading, and up to 1 in 10 with false-positive results will have received a recommendation for a biopsy.

Bernick says some women who have had false-positive mammograms or benign biopsies in the past may be less concerned than they should be about future findings.

"A woman should never ignore a new finding based on a history of false-positive mammograms," she says.

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