Hong Kong Med J 2007;13(Suppl 1):S16-9
The impact of a false-positive result from breast cancer mammography: a qualitative pilot study
R Fielding, TH Lam
Centre for Psycho-oncology Research and Training, Behavioural Sciences Unit, Department of Community Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
1. Most women who underwent mammography were under 50 years of age and many felt that they should have had mammography biannually from 40 years of age onwards, increasing their risk of having invasive investigations such as a fine needle aspiration (FNA) and unnecessary short-term distress.
2. In contrast to western studies, despite having considerable short-term anxiety (fear of cancer following the disclosure of the abnormal film finding, procedural anxiety while undergoing the FNA, and further anxiety while awaiting the FNA result), most women did not have negative views of the experience with many saying it gave them peace of mind.
3. Some women felt that being asked to return in 2 years for monitoring after being told the test results were negative made them uncertain about how disease-free they really were. Many vowed to monitor their cysts to ensure they did not become malignant in the future.