Researchers using automated breast density measurements have found that women with mammographically dense breast tissue have higher recall and biopsy rates and increased odds of screen-detected and interval breast cancer, according to a large new study from Norway published online in the journal Radiology. The study supports automated measurements as a future standard to ensure objective breast density classification for breast cancer screening, the researchers said. Previous studies have shown that women with mammographically dense breasts face a higher risk of breast cancer and missed cancers than those with non-dense breasts, partly because the superimposition of dense breast tissue on mammograms leads to a masking effect, causing some cancers to go undetected. This approach introduces potential mammogram reader variability into density categorization, said the study's principal investigator, Solveig Hofvind, Ph.
New study confirms higher cancer rate in women with dense breast tissue
Breast Density and Mammogram Reports | Dense Breast Tissue
The Breast Density Notification and Awareness Bill, approved by the Rhode Island legislation and is effective as of October 1, , requires all mammography providers to inform women of their breast density level as interpreted on their mammogram. Breasts are made up of a mixture of fibrous and glandular tissue and fatty tissue. Your breasts are considered dense if you have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue but not much fat. The category of breast density depends on the percentage of breast tissue made up of this denser tissue compared to the fatty tissue. Density may decrease with age, but there is little, if any, change in most women. Breast density is determined by the radiologist who reads your mammogram. The American College of Radiology defines breast density in the following categories:.
Dense breast tissue is detected on a mammogram. Additional imaging tests are sometimes recommended for women with dense breasts. If a recent mammogram showed you have dense breast tissue, you may wonder what this means for your breast cancer risk. Doctors know dense breast tissue makes breast cancer screening more difficult and it increases the risk of breast cancer.
Some mammogram reports sent to women mention breast density. Your health care provider can also tell you if your mammogram shows that you have dense breasts. In some states, women whose mammograms show heterogenously dense or extremely dense breasts must be told that they have dense breasts in the summary of the mammogram report that is sent to patients sometimes called the lay summary.