Women 'largely unaware of effect of breast density on cancer risk'

22 November 2016

The majority of women are not aware of the potential link between breast density and cancer risk, according to a new US study.

Conducted by the University of Virginia, the research involved a telephone survey of 1,024 women from Virginia aged between 35 and 70, with results showing that only one in eight women knew breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer.

Moreover, only only one-fifth of those polled were aware that dense breasts reduced the sensitivity of mammograms to find tumours, potentially making it harder for doctors to identify cancer in these individuals.

The study also showed that women were most likely to know about the link between breast density and cancer when a healthcare provider had provided them with information on the subject.

Study co-author Dr Wendy Cohn, an associate professor at the University of Virginia's department of public health sciences, said: "Women need to know whether their breast density will make it harder to detect breast cancer so that, along with their healthcare team, they can consider other options for screening and detection."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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