Dr. Cappello's Published Article in JACR - Decades of Normal Mammography Reports - The Happygram

Journal of American College of Radiology - Decade of "Normal" Mammography Reports - The Happygram

"I was stunned that my doctors knew about my dense breast tissue and the effectiveness of mammography but never informed me."

This peer-reviewed article, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, reviews the history of density reporting legislation and the decades of science on the masking and causal risk of dense breast tissue and responds with science to the critics of disclosing dense breast tissue information to women.

Take Home Points:

  • Breast Density is the strongest predictor of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.
  • To withhold a woman's breast density composition from her, which may affect her health care, is denying her the right to make an informed decision.
  • The doctrine of informed consent exists independent of a consensus to the challenges of detecting early invasive cancers in dense breasts.
  • There is no research to suggest that cancers, not visible by mammogram and detected by other screening tests, are less clinically significant.
  • Voluntary measures will not ensure that every woman receives this critical breast health information.

For full article click here.

Permission granted from Elsevier Dec. 10, 2014 for posting on website.

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  • Are You Dense? Fact #1:

    Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #2:

    Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 40% of post-menopausal women have dense breast tissue. 

  • Are You Dense? Fact #3:

    Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #4:

    American College of Radiology describes women with "Dense Breast Tissue" as having a higher than average risk of Breast Cancer.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #5:

    While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with dense breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #6:

    A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #7:

    Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #8:

    A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #9:

    Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #10

    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.