Breast biopsy accuracy is questioned in experimental study

CHICAGO (AP) — Biopsy specialists frequently misdiagnose breast tissue, potentially leading to too-aggressive treatment for some women and under-treatment for others.

That’s according to a new study that matched readings by regular pathologists with those of an expert panel. The regular group was very good at identifying invasive cancer. But with some types of precancerous cells, their accuracy was no better than a coin toss.

The study’s design was experimental so the results don’t necessarily reflect what happens in the real world.

But a Yale pathologist who co-authored an editorial says the study results are troubling and show that his field is an inexact science.

The study was published in Tuesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

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