New study highlights cancer and diagnostic risk of dense breast tissue

5 October 2016

A new study has demonstrated the additional breast cancer risk experienced by women with dense breast tissue.

Australian breast cancer researchers from the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Western Australia, Queensland University of Technology and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria are seeking to raise awareness of the health risks dense breasts can pose.

It was noted that eight per cent of women aged between the ages of 40 and 74 years have extremely dense breasts, meaning they have less fatty tissue and more non-fatty tissue, such as more glands that make and drain milk.

Estimates suggest that women with extremely high breast density are four to six times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with very low density, making it important for women in this category to be extra-vigilant.

Moreover, since dense breast tissue displays very similarly to tumour tissue on mammograms, it can also be harder to detect breast cancer in these women.

Associate professor Wendy Ingman from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute said: "Not many women know if they have dense breast tissue. We believe it's important to inform women about breast density so they can make the right choices for their health."

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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