Study: Benefit of Supplemental Ultrasonography in Women with Dense Breasts Is Marginal

February 20, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​Using supplemental ultrasonography breast cancer screening for women with dense breasts was found to significantly increase costs while providing minimal gains in morbidity and mortality, finds a study published February 3, 2015, in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Supplemental ultrasonography would have prevented about four deaths from breast cancer in a population of 10,000 women age 50 to 74 who had normal mammograms and dense breasts and would have resulted in 3,500 more biopsies being performed in women who do not have breast cancer. On average, each year of life gained would cost roughly $325,000 for women with heterogeneously and extremely dense breasts and $246,000 for only women with extremely dense breasts.

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