(DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING) - by James Brice A forward-looking commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association and related news coverage in The New York Times have drawn public attention to the diagnostic limitations of mammography and prostate cancer screening and future opportunities to develop better tests. "Rethinking Screening for Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer," a special communication in the Oct. 21 JAMA reviewed 20 years of breast and prostate cancer screening research to identify what many radiologists already know are the shortcomings of the screening mammography and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. First author Dr. Laura Esserman, a professor of radiology and surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, credits the two procedures for boosting breast and prostate cancer detection rates. But she criticizes PSA screening for increasing healthcare costs and morbidity because of the overdetection and overtreatment of non–life-threatening cancers.
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