Breast cancer overdiagnosis costs $4 billion a year to the U.S.

Breast cancer misdiagnoses costs $4 billion/year

The costs from false diagnoses of breast cancer are “much higher” than previously documented, according to a new study published online on April 7, 2015.

Betty-Ford-Breast-Care
About $4 billion is spent ever year in the United States because of false-positive mammography results and breast cancer overdiagnosis, according to a new study. Betty Ford Breast Care image via Spectrum Health.

2015 Study Abstract

Populationwide mammography screening has been associated with a substantial rise in false-positive mammography findings and breast cancer overdiagnosis. However, there is a lack of current data on the associated costs in the United States. We present costs due to false-positive mammograms and breast cancer overdiagnoses among women ages 40–59, based on expenditure data from a major US health care insurance plan for 702,154 women in the years 2011–13. The average expenditures for each false-positive mammogram, invasive breast cancer, and ductal carcinoma in situ in the twelve months following diagnosis were $852, $51,837 and $12,369, respectively. This translates to a national cost of $4 billion each year. The costs associated with false-positive mammograms and breast cancer overdiagnoses appear to be much higher than previously documented. Screening has the potential to save lives. However, the economic impact of false-positive mammography results and breast cancer overdiagnoses must be considered in the debate about the appropriate populations for screening.

Sources and more information
  • Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis Costs $4 Billion, Says Studymedscape, April 08, 2015
  • National Expenditure For False-Positive Mammograms And Breast Cancer Overdiagnoses Estimated At $4 Billion A Year, Health Affairs, doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2014.1087,  April 2015 vol. 34 no. 4 576-583, April 7, 2015.
  • Breast cancer misdiagnoses cost $4 billion: Study, cnbc, 6 Apr 2015.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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