Most women know that mammography is the go-to test for breast cancer screenings. However, most women don’t know that dense breasts can diminish mammography sensitivity up to 20%. What happens is the dense breast can obscure cancer during the imaging.
Several states have adopted a new law that requires doctors to notify their patients in writing when they have dense breases, which is a sign to get further testing either as an ultrasound or MRI.
However, about 50% of women undergoing screening have sense breasts. Should the state really be required to send out two million letters a year, and can the health departments keep up with all those extra screenings, most of which are unnecessary?
In response, the California Breast Density Information Group created an online document to answer frequently asked questions, including when additional screening is really necessary.
HINT: Those with high risk (dense breasts, family history of breast cancer, and the BRCA genetic mutation) should seek additional screening. For simply dense breasts, it’s not as necessary.
These doctors suggest an individualized risk-based approach to avoid issues with false positives or unnecessary costs (to the patient as well as the center).
Have any questions? You can see the full article here, or call our center to see how we can help. We offer Women’s Care!