Double Readings is the Way To Go

October 9, 2008 (New England Journal of Medicine)

The interpretation of screening mammograms by two readers (double reading) increased the rate of cancer detection by as much as 14%, according to a meta-analysis planned for the October 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Double reading is standard practice in a dozen European countries but has not been widely adopted in the United States.

Using computer-aided detection systems could increase cancer-detection rates, researchers conclude.

IMS Take: It is in your best interest to either go to a facility that uses two readers to interpret the results of your mammogram (something that is very rare in the United States) or to go to a facility that uses a CAD system.  If you go to a facility that uses a single reader, studies show you are 4-14% more likely to have a misdiagnosis.

One question we should all ask ourselves is why is it that 12 European countries realize that this leads to better healthcare, but we here in the U.S. don't?

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