Background: False-positives are a major concern in breast cancer screening. However, false-positives have been little evaluated as a prognostic factor for cancer detection. Our aim was to evaluate the association of false-positive results with the cancer detection risk in subsequent screening participations over a 17-year period. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of 762,506 women aged 45-69 years, with at least two screening participations, who underwent 2,594,146 screening mammograms from 1990 to 2006. Multilevel discrete-time hazard models were used to estimate the adjusted odds ratios (OR) of breast cancer detection in subsequent screening participations in women with false-positive results. Results: False-positives involving a fine-needle aspiration cytology or a biopsy had a higher cancer detection risk than those involving additional imaging procedures alone (OR = 2.69; 95%CI: 2.28-3.16 and OR = 1.81; 95%CI: 1.70-1.94, respectively). The risk of cancer detection increased substantially if women with cytology or biopsy had a familial history of breast cancer (OR = 4.64; 95%CI: 3.23-6.66). Other factors associated with an increased cancer detection risk were age 65-69 years (OR = 1.84; 95%CI: 1.67-2.03), non-attendance at the previous screening invitation (OR = 1.26; 95%CI: 1.11-1.43), and having undergone a previous benign biopsy outside the screening program (OR = 1.24; 95%CI: 1.13-1.35). Conclusion: Women with a false-positive test have an increased risk of cancer detection in subsequent screening participations, especially those with a false-positive result involving cytology or biopsy. Understanding the factors behind this association could provide valuable information to increase the effectiveness of breast cancer screening. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Castells, X., Román, M., Romero, A., Blanch, J., Zubizarreta, R., Ascunce, N., … Sala, M. (2013). Breast cancer detection risk in screening mammography after a false-positive result. Cancer Epidemiology, 37(1), 85–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2012.10.004