Why are there laws in some states regarding women receiving their breast density information?
- A wonderful grass-roots organization has been founded by women personally affected by the lack of information given to them regarding the density of their breasts (www.AreYouDense.org), and they are doing everything they can to address this issue for all women. Because of their advocacy, laws have recently been passed in Connecticut, Texas, Virginia, New York and California, requiring that women be informed of their density
- Don’t be surprised if your doctor does not know much about breast density. As the issue gains traction, the medical community will become more informed over time. For now, it is up to you to find out if your breasts are dense so you can protect yourself from advanced cancer.
Your density information should be in the official report from your mammogram, so ask your doctor for a copy of this report. Do not rely on the form letter you receive from the mammography center; this will not include your density (unless
- 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. 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. 40,000 women in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer. Some of these women had dense breasts and didn’t know it; even though they
As a breast imaging radiologist at Montclair Breast Center with over 12 years of experience practicing in my field, I can tell you based on voluminous evidence in the scientific literature as well as from clinical experience that if you have dense breast tissue (determined from a mammogram, not from physical exam), the odds of finding a cancer on your mammogram are about equal to a coin toss.
Even with the best digital technology and the most experienced reader, a cancer will not be detected mammographically in up to half of women with dense breasts,…Read More