Breast Density Advocates on Good Morning America
Nancy Cappello, PhD and JoAnn Pushkin were interviewed on Good Morning America last week, talking about their experiences as women doing “everything right”: mammograms every year, healthy lifestyle, annual checkups. Yet even though they were good, compliant patients, they both were diagnosed with advanced breast cancers. How did this happen? Well, they were never informed that they have dense breast tissue, which confers an increased risk for breast cancer, AND makes a mammogram so hard to read that up to half of cancers won’t be seen.
Since they were given “normal” mammogram reports, they did not pursue second-level screening with breast ultrasound or MRI. However, adding one of these tests to their screening regimen would have increased sensitivity, and it’s very likely that their cancers would have been found at earlier stages. When both women were diagnosed, they were shocked that crucial information had been withheld from them for all of those years of “normal” mammograms.
Nancy and JoAnn have made a mission of making sure all women who undergo mammograms receive information about their breast density, so that if second-level screening could help them, they could choose to pursue it. Women with dense breasts are not being effectively screened when they have a mammogram alone, and they should be informed of this. Check out this video, and visit www.areyoudense.org for more information about their advocacy work.
Tags: are you dense, breast cancer on Good Morning America, breast cancer screening, breast density, breast MRI, breast sonogram, breast ultrasound, dense breasts, early detection, high risk for breast cancer, JoAnn Pushkin, Nancy Cappello