FALSE ALARM AT BREAST CANCER SCREENING CAUSES SUBSTANTIAL NEGATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT
Copenhagen, Denmark - When women receive abnormal breast cancer screening results, later confirmed as false alarms, it causes anxiety, sense of dejection, sleeping problems, negative impact on behavior, and sexuality and exaggerated breast self examination. Women also feel less attractive and try to keep themselves busy to take their mind off things. Some women report sick leave as a consequence of the abnormal screening mammography.
The article “Validation Of A Condition-Specific Measure For Women Having An Abnormal Screening Mammography,” by John Brodersen MD, GP, PhD student, Hanne Thorsen MD, PhD, and Svend Kreiner MSC appears in the July/August 2007 issue of Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).
Generic questionnaires are not able to catch all harm related to screening. Therefore, a new specific questionnaire for women having an abnormal screening mammography was tested in a population of women attending breast cancer screening.
Today's preventive medicine screening programs for cancers are recommended to the healthy population to reduce mortality of cancer.
However, in most cancer screening programs thousands have to been screened several times to prevent one death of cancer, while hundreds will have false alarms. In breast cancer screenings, the ratio between prevented deaths and false alarms are 1:200. The inadequacy of the current information given to women at invitation to breast cancer screening combined with the substantial negative psychological impact from the large number of false alarms makes it important to improve the information of the benefits and harm of screening mammography so that women are able to make an informed choice.
Value in Health is the official journal of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research and help health care leaders to make decisions that are solidly evidence-based. The journal is published bi-monthly and has a regular readership of over 3,000 clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide.
ISPOR is a nonprofit, international organization that strives to translate pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research into practice to ensure that society allocates scarce health care resources wisely, fairly, and efficiently.
Value in Health Volume 10 Issue 4 - July/August 2007
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