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Read Original Story

A new weapon against breast cancer: Technology could improve the odds of detection

Rating

3 Star

A new weapon against breast cancer: Technology could improve the odds of detection

Our Review Summary

This story is about a relatively new option for breast cancer screening – digital mammography. The story is clear that this is a new type of mammography, but that it is not available everywhere. The story mentions the existing alternative, film mammography and explains that digital mammograms are superior to film mammograms in younger women, those with dense breast tissue, and those who are pre- or peri-menopausal. Although there is mention of a trial, the author does not describe the study design. Therefore, the reader has very little information on which to evaluate the evidence for or against digital mammography. The author does not provide quantitative estimates of benefits, nor any potential harms or costs. If all film mammography machines were to be replaced with digital machines, the costs would likely be substantial.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

No mention of costs. The author should have mentioned that the cost of installing a digital system is substantial and the cost-effectiveness of digital mammography as a screening program has not yet been evaluated.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

No quantitative estimates of the benefit of digital mammography are presented.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

Although there is mention of a large trial, there is no description of the study design and other studies that may have conflicting results. The reader, therefore, does not have enough information on which to evaluate the evidence.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story does mention plain film mammograms and explains that digital is better in younger women with dense breast tissue.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story is clear that although this is a new technology, it is not available everywhere.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

There is no evidence that this story relied solely or largely on a news release.

Total Score: 6 of 10 Satisfactory

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