Breast Cancer Symptoms: Women are unaware that breast density is an increased risk factor
Dense breast tissue poses up to four times the risk of breast cancer. However, a new study has shown that many women are unaware of the risks of breast density.
The term dense breast refers to a breast that consists of more fibrous and glandular tissue compared to fatty tissue, and can be detected during a mammogram.
The study published in The gamma network is open On January 23, we surveyed 1,858 women ages 40 to 76 from 2019 to 2020 who had recently had a mammogram, had no history of breast cancer, and had heard of breast density.
It assessed women’s understanding of breast density as a higher risk of breast cancer compared to other known risk factors, such as having a close relative with breast cancer, being overweight or obese, drinking more than one alcoholic drink per day, never having children, and having a previous breast biopsy.
Although breast density was associated with a 1.2- to four-fold increased risk of breast cancer, according to the study, few women consider breast density to be a strong personal risk factor. Instead, 93 percent of women considered family history to be the greatest risk, followed by 65 percent of women who said being overweight or obese was more of a risk than breast density.
Of the 61 women interviewed, only six described breast density as contributing to breast cancer risk. Although most women correctly note that breast density can make a mammogram more difficult to read.
When asked what they could take to reduce their risk of breast cancer, nearly a third of the women said they were unsure if it was possible to reduce their risk of breast cancer, or that they were not aware of what actions they could take.
However, there are several actions people can take to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. A breast exam, also known as a mammogram, is an X-ray of the breast used to check for breast cancer in women. A mammogram can detect invisible signs or symptoms of breast cancer that cannot be felt, or it can check for breast cancer after detecting a lump or other signs of breast cancer.
the American Cancer Society recommends that women ages 45 to 54 have a mammogram every year. Women ages 40 to 44 also have the option to start screening early, and those 55 and older can switch to mammograms every two years if they choose to do so.
About half of all women age 40 and older who have a mammogram are found to have dense breasts, in National Cancer Institute. Breast density is often hereditary, but it can also be found in women who are younger, take hormone replacement therapy, or are underweight.
While breast density can make it difficult to interpret a mammogram, a new type of mammogram called digital breast tomography — or 3D mammography It has recently been shown to be more beneficial for women with dense breasts.
Other studies have shown that imaging tests such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help find some types of breast cancer that cannot be seen on a mammogram. Experts are not yet firmly suggesting that women with dense breasts should undergo additional screening, according to Statement of recommendation about breast cancer screening by the US Preventive Services Task Force.
People with dense breasts should talk to their healthcare provider about their personal risk of developing breast cancer.