Researcher Working to Improve Awareness of Breast Density and Cancer Risk Honored

Researcher Working to Improve Awareness of Breast Density and Cancer Risk Honored
High breast density is strongly associated with a risk of breast cancer, because dense breasts can mask a cancer from being detected during a mammography screening. An estimated 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue, and standard mammography is effective only about 48 percent of the time in detecting lesions in dense breasts (as compared to 98 percent in fatty breasts). This means that every second or third cancer may be missed in women with dense breasts, according to Are You Dense Advocacy, an organization working to increase awareness of the problems and in finding ways of addressing it. A team of researchers at the University of Malaya, led by a professor of medical physics at the Department of Biomedical Imaging, Ng Kwan Hoong, published two papers on the subject of breast density and its association with breast cancer, noting that breast cancer risk because of high breast density is two times greater than other factors (with the exception of a family history of the disease in women ages 40-49). But whether breast density is an independent risk factor remains a matter of de
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2 comments

  1. Suzi says:

    Kudos to Dr. Hoong! My dense breasts prohibited an adequate viewing of my breasts with mammography and ultrasound. Although I requested an MRI from my nurse practitioner (on the advice of my aunt who had a similar experience but received the MRI), she refused, asserting that the density of my breasts had little bearing, if at all, on whether my breasts could be properly viewed and assessed. Six months later, while doing a self-check in the shower, I found a mass that ended up measuring approximately 8cm x 6cm! Unfortunately, my disease is metastatic. Because the breast cancer is lobular, an MRI would have detected the cancer had she agreed to it when I requested in earlier.

    • AMS says:

      I find these stories infuriating. Doctors need to take us more seriously. I had clear mammograms and even when I felt a lump a doctor tole me it was nothing. She was wrong. It also was stage IV even though my lump was <1cm. My friend just had a doctor deny her an ultrasound even though she does have dense breast tissue and felt a lump.

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