Cancer Screening More Likely After a Previous False Positive


Patients who previously had a false-positive breast or prostate cancer screening test result are more likely to have future screenings

One study assessed whether 92,405 individuals aged 50 to 75 years (2006 to 2015) were up-to-date with their breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer screening. Differences in current status were assessed by whether patients had a previous false-positive test result.

The researchers found that women were more likely to be up-to-date with breast cancer screening if they previously had false-positive mammography results both without breast biopsy and with a breast biopsy. These same women were also more likely to be current for colorectal cancer screening. Similarly, men who previously had false-positive prostate cancer test results were more likely to be current with colorectal cancer screening.

Prior experience with cancer screenings may influence a patient's willingness to continue future screening.