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Cancer Epidemiol. 2014 Oct;38(5):619-22. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2014.06.006. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Increased risk of breast cancer in women with false-positive test: the role of misclassification.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1014 Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: myeu@sund.ku.dk.
2
Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: rqjps480@yahoo.co.jp.
3
Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: Ilse.Vejborg@regionh.dk.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Studies have shown that women with a false-positive result from mammography screening have an excess risk for breast cancer compared with women who only have negative results. We aimed to assess the excess risk of cancer after a false-positive result excluding cases of misclassification, i.e. women who were actually false-negatives instead of false-positives.

METHOD:

We used data from the Copenhagen Mammography Screening Programme, Denmark. The study population was the 295 women, out of 4743 recalled women from a total of 58,003 participants, with a false-positive test during the screening period 1991-2005 and who later developed breast cancer. Cancers that developed in the same location as the finding that initially caused the recall was studied in-depth in order to establish whether there had been misclassification.

RESULTS:

Seventy-two cases were found to be misclassified. When the women with misclassified tests had been excluded, there was an excess risk of breast cancer of 27% (RR=1.27, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11-1.46) among the women with a false-positive test compared to women with only negative tests. Women with a false-positive test determined at assessment had an excess risk of 27%, while false-positives determined at surgery had an excess risk of 30%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results indicate that the increased risk is not explained only by misclassification. The excess risk remains for false-positives determined at assessment as well as at surgery, which favours some biological susceptibility. Further research into the true excess risk of false positives is warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; False-positive; Mammography; Misclassification; Screening

PMID:
25035157
DOI:
10.1016/j.canep.2014.06.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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