Needle core biopsy guided with mammography: a study of cost-effectiveness

Radiology. 1994 Jan;190(1):217-22. doi: 10.1148/radiology.190.1.8259408.


Purpose: To analyze the cost-effectiveness of needle core biopsy (NCB) in a breast cancer screening program.

Materials and methods: A computer model was used to compare two hypothetical groups of women: those who undergo annual mammographic screening and those observed without screening. All clinically significant outcomes for each group were included in the model, which reflected the state of a woman's health each year beginning at age 40 years and ending at age 85 years.

Results: The marginal cost per year of life saved by screening was reduced a maximum of 23% (from $20,770 to $15,934) with use of NCB instead of surgical biopsy. The cost of NCB had less effect on cost-effectiveness than the number of women who underwent NCB.

Conclusion: When used for the same indications as surgical biopsy, NCB substantially reduces the cost of a breast cancer screening program.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle / economics
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography* / economics
  • Middle Aged
  • Palpation
  • Predictive Value of Tests