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New study casts doubt on reliability of breast biopsies for detecting cancer

Biopsies have been long seen as the gold standard for discovering breast cancer, but a new study reveals the procedure could be unreliable and, in some cases, may lead doctors to pursue the wrong course of action for patients. Because breast biopsies are prone to misinterpretation, the study finds, doctors can end up prescribing surgery for women who don’t need it and fail to prescribe it for patients who do need it. About 1.6 million women receive biopsies each year, and some scientists say the study is wake up call for pathologists and breast scientists to strive for better accuracy.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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