Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Mixed Messages About Breast Density As Risk Factor

Published on the Dec. 26, 2014, DiagnosticImaging.com Website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

CHICAGO — As of July 2014, 32 states either had a breast density notification law or were working on legislation. Connecticut passed the first law in 2009, but what has  been the impact to-date on identifying the sneaky cancers that hide?

According to industry experts at this year’s Radiological Society of North America meeting, new cancers are being found, but radiologists have learned something else in the process. Dense breast tissue doesn’t necessarily raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer – instead, it more directly affects the sensitivity of the test she receives.

“The increased rate of breast cancers in dense tissue is largely due to masking – the obstruction of the cancer by the dense tissue,” said Stephen Feig, MD, a radiologist at the University of California-Irvine with an interest in breast screening guidelines and controversies. “Dense breast tissue is much less associated with an actual higher risk of developing the disease than was originally anticipated.”

To read the story in its entirety at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/rsna-2014/mixed-messages-about-breast-density-risk-factor

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