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Economics of Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis and False Positives

Breast cancer screening can save lives, but the economic impact of false-positive mammography results and breast cancer over-diagnosis must be discussed, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs.

The over-diagnosis rate for breast cancer varies, including 22% of all breast cancer screenings in Canada and 22% to 31% in the US, the authors wrote. However, not much is known about the associated economic cost. In this study, researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School sought to determine these costs among women aged 40 to 59.

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