March 2, 2012
"Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography to detect cancer. About half of women younger than 50 are dense, and 1/3 of women over 50 are dense. That’s a large number of women for whom mammography alone is not enough" says Dr. Stacey Vitiello, Radiologist from Montclair, New Jersey.
Up to half of breast cancers cannot be seen on the mammogram in women with dense breasts. This leads to missed cancers that are discovered at later stages, resulting in more invasive treatments and a poorer prognosis.
A must read for all women: What Breast Density Means to You.
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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.