From the Blog: What a difference eight years make. Last week, I testified at the Connecticut Capitol in support of an ultrasound coverage bill for women with dense breast tissue without imposing a deductible. Joining me, with enthusiastic support of the bill, were practicing radiologists reporting Connecticut breast cancer detection data for women with dense breast tissue and its corresponding impact on an early diagnosis. It was surreal to hear the accolades from the radiologists about our advocacy and the critical importance of adjunct ultrasound in detecting invasive cancers, invisible by mammogram, in women with dense breast tissue. I was in the same Hearing Room when, in 2008, one of the current supporting radiologists, representing the Society of Radiologists, testified against our density reporting bill.
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Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.
Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue.
Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.
American College of Radiology describes women with "Dense Breast Tissue" as having a higher than average risk of Breast Cancer.
While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with the densest breasts.
A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.
Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.
A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.
Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.
There are too many women who are unaware of their breast density, believe their “Happy Gram” when it reports no significant findings and are at risk of receiving a later stage cancer diagnosis.