High Breast Density Increases Breast Cancer Risk, Impedes Mammograms

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

U.S. News & World Report (3/21, Howley) details how high breast density is both a risk factor for breast cancer and an impediment in mammograms. The “American College of Radiology classifies density into four categories: mostly fatty, scattered density, consistent density and extremely dense.” Dense breasts “can obscure or hide worrisome spots because the mammogram simply can’t see them through the denser tissue.” In addition, density “is an independent risk factor for breast cancer.” 

Radiotherapy Benefits Outweigh Risks for Most Patients with Breast Cancer, Study Suggests

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cancer Therapy Advisor (3/21, Primeau) reports that research suggests “for most patients with breast cancer, the benefits of modern radiotherapy outweigh the risks of future secondary malignancy and heart disease.” The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 

New York Insurers Must Cover “Medically Necessary” 3-D Mammograms Under New State Law

Friday, March 3, 2017

Newsday (NY) (3/2, Ricks) reports New York health insurers “must cover ‘medically necessary’ high-tech 3-D mammograms without copays, coinsurance or deductibles under a new state law.” A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo clarified on Thursday that “the new payment rules apply when” a 3-D mammography test “is deemed ‘medically necessary as determined by a physician.’” 

Mammography Guidelines May Not Impact Screening Intervals, Study Suggests

Friday, February 24, 2017
Aunt Minnie (2/23, Yee) reports that research suggests “when it comes to how often a woman undergoes mammography screening, her own choice and her” physician’s “advice have more influence than official guidelines.” Investigators “found that the 2009 breast cancer screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) did not result in longer screening intervals during the three years following their release, despite widespread concern that they would.” The findings were published online in the Journal of Women’s Health. 

Should I ask my doctor for an MRI?

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Mammography is the main test used to find breast cancer in women who don’t have symptoms and is the only screening test that has been shown to reduce the number of women who die from breast cancer by about 30%. (A screening test is a test used to find a disease in people who don’t have signs or symptoms of the disease.)  However, breast MRI is the most sensitive method of finding breast cancer, especially in women who are at a very high risk for breast cancer, like women who have a ≥20-25% chance of developing breast cancer in their life. 

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The Society of Breast Imaging‘s goal for its initiative End the Confusion is to provide evidence based information on breast cancer screening. We will continue to provide information and resources as well as our views on the latest breast cancer screening news so we encourage you to regularly visit the website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@BreastImaging). Hopefully we have addressed and will continue to address any and all confusion you experience when it comes to breast cancer screening. 

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