Let’s face it..a breast cancer diagnosis is frightening. We probably all know women who have been affected by breast cancer and yet it can remain a difficult diagnosis to make at times. Advances in technology can aid physicians in making an accurate diagnosis but there is no “perfect test”. Take CAD or computer-aided-detection. Computers are used to help radiologists detect irregularities in breast tissue that may represent cancer. A recent article on CNN had this to say about CAD:
“But in a large new study, the technology failed to improve breast cancer detection and also increased a woman’s risk of being told she had an abnormal mammogram when she was, in fact, cancer free.”
“The detection rate for noninvasive breast abnormalities improved at radiology facilities that adopted CAD technology, but, crucially, the rate did not improve for invasive breast cancers, the dangerous type that invade healthy tissue in the breast or other parts of the body.”
One problem with CAD as with any test is that it can lead physicians to think a disease is present when it’s not and then order more invasive tests. The test can also fail to detect any abnormality when cancer is actually present.
If you want to read more, you can read the full article here.