Radiographers increase cancer detection rate, but at cost

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 24 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:913
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

Breast cancer is more likely to be detected when mammograms are read by two radiologists as well as two radiographers. But double reading by both groups of professionals leads to more false-positive screens.

Research based on more than 140 000 mammograms shows that when both radiographers and radiologists double read mammograms the rate of detection of cancer rises by 7% (European Journal of Cancer 2008 Apr 7; doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2008.03.003). But the positive predictive value of a referral for further investigation falls from 47.5% to 36.6% (P<0.001).

“Cancer detection rates increased after the introduction of radiographer double reading in addition to radiologist double reading. This increase was the combined …

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