False-negative rate – about 1/5 = 20%
- A false-negative mammogram looks normal even though breast cancer is present. Overall, screening mammograms do not find about 1 in 5 breast cancers.
False-positive rate = about 50%
- About half of the women getting annual mammograms over a 10-year period will have a false-positive finding.
Overall, the sensitivity of mammography is about 84 percent . This means mammography correctly identifies about 84 percent of women who truly have breast cancer.
The chance of having a false positive result after 10 yearly mammograms is about 50-60 percent [22-24].
- Elmore JG, Barton MB, Moceri VM, et al. Ten-year risk of false positive screening mammograms and clinical breast examinations. N Engl J Med. 338: 1089-96, 1998.
- Hubbard RA, Kerlikowske K, Flowers CI, Yankaskas BC, Zhu W, Miglioretti DL. Cumulative probability of false-positive recall or biopsy recommendation after 10 years of screening mammography: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 155(8):481-92, 2011.
- Independent UK Panel on Breast Cancer Screening. The benefits and harms of breast cancer screening: an independent review. Lancet. 380(9855):1778-86, 2012.