New study confirms higher cancer rate in women with dense breast tissue
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IMAGE: Mammograms show volumetric breast density classified as Volpara density grade 1, 2, 3, and 4 with automated volumetric breast density measurement. view more 

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OAK BROOK, Ill. – Researchers using automated breast density measurements have found that women with mammographically dense breast tissue have higher recall and biopsy rates and increased odds of screen-detected and interval breast cancer, according to a large new study from Norway published online in the journal Radiology. The study supports automated measurements as a future standard to ensure objective breast density classification for breast cancer screening, the researchers said.

Previous studies have shown that women with mammographically dense breasts face a higher risk of breast cancer and missed cancers than those with non-dense breasts, partly because the superimposition of dense breast tissue on mammograms leads to a masking effect, causing some cancers to go undetected. However, the majority of those studies relied on subjective density assessments — most commonly, the radiologist’s subjective interpretation using the American College of Radiology’s Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS). This approach introduces potential mammogram reader variability into density categorization, said the study’s principal investigator, Solveig Hofvind, Ph.D., from the Cancer Registry of Norway in Oslo.

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