Law Office of Robert A. Miller
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Computer-aided-detection mammograms may be unnecessary

As many Oregon women know, screening for breast cancer may help detect anomalies at an early stage. With proper and timely diagnosis, breast cancer treatment may have greater efficacy. There are several methods used to detect breast cancer, but recent reports indicate that one does not provide additional support.

Computer-aided-detection, approved for use in 1998, has come under fire recently. According to a researcher in Boston, the technology has no advantage over routinely-read mammograms. The researcher stressed that the annual cost of approximately $400 million is wasteful without supplying any benefit. The technology is currently used in about 90 percent of mammograms.

Health authorities recommend yearly mammograms, particularly for women who are over 40. The current study used mammograms performed on 323,973 women. All of the patients had both digital screening and screening utilizing CAD. Regardless of methodology, the detection of cancer was consistent. No additional cancers were detected with CAD use. Both tumor detection and elimination of false positives were the same. An earlier study produced similar results. However, it was not well-regarded due to its choice of subjects, diagnostic modality and selection of radiologists. According to the report, the need for adequate diagnosis is available with non-CAD technology, making CAD unnecessary. Since diagnosis is key to early detection, an emphasis is placed on providing appropriate interpretation of mammograms.

When a patient is misdiagnosed, the result of this may cause serious injury due to delayed or erroneous treatment. The financial cost of such treatment may be difficult to assimilate. Consulting an attorney to discuss options the patient may have to recover damages might be beneficial. After reviewing medical records along with expert opinion, the attorney may determine that the misdiagnosis constituted medical malpractice.

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