- Screening mammography surpasses recommendations
radiologists had been unable to compare their individual detection rates for breast
cancer with any sort of national standard. Dr. Robert D. Rosenberg and his colleagues
in the department of radiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque recently
evaluated the range of performance outcomes of radiologists across the US.
As reported in the October issue of Radiology,
the National Cancer Institute (NCI) funded the project, which evaluated about 2.6
million screening exams between 1996 and 2002 from about 1.1 million women. The
researchers collected the data from six NCI-funded research sites that had collected
it from 188 mammographic facilities, which represent about 2 percent of the certified
mammographic facilities in the US. The exams were assessed by 807 radiologists.
The average cancer detection rate was
4.7 per 1000 women, which surpasses previously established performance recommendations
for the US. The average size of invasive cancers was 13 mm. The average recall rate
on abnormal findings was 9.8 percent, and the range of the recall rate of the middle
50 percent of the radiologists was between 6.4 and 13.3 percent.
The researchers hope that their findings
will provide good performance targets for radiologists and help improve diagnostic
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