Multiple detection modalities have increasingly gained attention in population-based screening. However, the disease natural history and its efficacy have been barely addressed. We reviewed a series of articles addressing multiple detection modalities including mammography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance image between 1995 and 2005. A stochastic model was developed to estimate transition parameters pertaining to the disease natural history defined by multiple detection modalities. The effectiveness of the combination of ultrasound or magnetic resonance image (MRI) with mammography was projected using a series of computer simulation models.
The results indicated that multiple detection modalities may lead to reduced mortality. However, the benefit and the selection of detection modalities are affected by biological factors including age, breast tissue type and histological type. In addition, other social factors may also affect the utilization of multiple detection modalities.
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