Omaha, Neb. (June 9, 2015) – About one in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. A well-established predictor of breast cancer risk is breast density, and new laws are developing across the country to standardize screenings and increase communication.
The degree of one’s breast density—which compares the amount of tissue to fat on a mammogram—is not known by majority of women, according to Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc. This can be concerning because having dense breast tissue is linked to an increased risk of cancer, as tumors can be hard to spot when hidden behind dense tissue.
Due to the increased cancer incidence, many states are now requiring doctors to notify their patients if they have dense breasts. Similar laws have also been introduced on the national level, such as the Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act, which was introduced to the Senate in February. The goal of these laws is to give women with dense breast tissue the information they need to discuss additional testing with their doctors.
“It is said that knowledge is power, and this is especially true when fighting cancer,” said Mike Cassling, president and CEO of Cassling. “Providing women with this critical health information can open up a dialogue between physicians and patients about the importance of regular mammography screenings.”
Mammography, a type of imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system to produce images of inside the breast, is the most common way to screen for breast cancer. However, dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to spot cancer through a traditional 2D mammogram. Tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, helps reduce these challenges by taking multiple pictures through the 3D plane to see tissue in a series of slices, thereby unmasking lesions hidden by surrounding tissue.“Advancements such as 3D mammography deliver high-quality images regardless of breast tissue density,” said Cassling. “This innovative technology can help physicians spot cancer in earlier stages, especially in women with dense breasts.”
Click here to learn about the mandatory breast density notification legislative efforts in your state.
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