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Mammographic density and risk of breast cancer
Date:4/21/2010

er risk in younger women and identify women for targeted prevention strategies early in life. However, evaluating breast cancer risk through use of mammography is known to have a level of radiation exposure that is not acceptable for younger women; therefore, other methods are needed to evaluate breast density.

"Our findings indicate there is agreement between breast density as determined by mammograms and the use of DXA," said Maskarinec, who is professor of epidemiology at the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu.

DXA is widely used to evaluate bone density and total body composition. It is commonly available in medical care settings and is known to have low radiation exposure.

Maskarinec and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to compare breast density measured by DXA with mammographic density among 101 women aged 30 years and older with a normal mammogram. Participants completed questionnaires on demographic, reproductive and medical information, and then received DXA scans of both breasts.

Both DXA and mammographic measures showed high correlations between left and right breasts and common risk factors showed similar patterns for both measurements.

"We now know something about how DXA performs when used to measure breast density," said Maskarinec. "This is not practice-changing at the moment, but it does present the potential for future studies to elaborate on DXA's use as a new research tool in breast cancer prevention studies among adolescents and young women."


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Contact: Jeremy Moore
jeremy.moore@aacr.org
267-646-0557
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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