Study: More cancer testing = more false alarms

May 12, 2009 2:15:54 PM PDT
As more people undergo testing for cancer, more false positives are being reported. That may seem like common sense, but it's not something that patients or doctors often consider. That's the finding of a study in the Annals of Family Medicine.

False positive results from routine cancer screenings can cause undue worry and in some cases lead to unnecessary biopsies or treatments.

Researchers say, the take home message is, it's important to know ahead of time the risk of false positives; also, that screenings have to be thought of like any other medical intervention and it's important to have the discussion about risks and benefits.


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