Cancer Screening More Likely After a Previous False Positive

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Findings for both men and women with a false-positive prostate or breast cancer test result.
Findings for both men and women with a false-positive prostate or breast cancer test result.

(HealthDay News) -- Patients who previously had a false-positive breast or prostate cancer screening test result are more likely to have future screenings, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Glen B. Taksler, PhD, from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues assessed whether 92,405 individuals aged 50 to 75 years (2006 to 2015) were up-to-date with their breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer screening. Differences in current status were assessed by whether patients had a previous false-positive test result.

The researchers found that women were more likely to be up-to-date with breast cancer screening if they previously had false-positive mammography results both without breast biopsy (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.43) and with breast biopsy (aOR, 2.02; both P<0.001). These same women were also more likely to be current for colorectal cancer screening (aOR range, 1.25 to 1.47, depending on breast biopsy; both P<0.001). Similarly, men who previously had false-positive prostate cancer test results were more likely to be current with colorectal cancer screening (aOR without prostate imaging/biopsy, 1.22 [P=0.039] and aOR with imaging/biopsy, 1.60 [P=0.028]).

"Prior experience with cancer screenings may influence a patient's willingness to continue future screening," the authors write.

Reference

Taksler GB, Keating NL, Rothberg MB. Implications of false‐positive results for future cancer screenings. Canc. DOI:10.1002/cncr.31271

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