Biopsies used too often for breast cancer patients
Jun 16, 2011
Research from hospitals in Florida indicate that breast biopsies are used too much and invasive surgery is often not necessary to remove lumps from the breast, according to a report from PhillyBurbs.com.
At the current rate, about 300,000 breast biopsies are performed unnecessarily. Needle biopsies are not only cheaper but safer as a procedure to combat breast cancer.
According to researchers, about 10 percent of cases in which a woman might have breast cancer requires surgical biopsy. However, doctors in Florida performed them at a rate of about 30 percent between 2003 and 2008.
Unfortunately, part of the reason so many unnecessary procedures are performed may be due to financial incentives on the part of doctors. Needle biopsies cost about five to six thousands dollars per procedure, while surgical biopsies can cost more than twice as much.
More breast cancer patients need to be aware of their options and the exact necessity of procedures. About one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer at one point in her life, according to the American Cancer Society. Awareness is crucial in preventing unnecessary pain and costs.