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Breast Cancer Risk Related to Changes in Breast Density as Women Age
Date:12/2/2013

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Automated breast density measurement is predictive of breast cancer risk in younger women, and that risk may be related to the rate at which breast density changes in some women as they age, according to research being presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Breast density, as determined by mammography, is already known to be a strong and independent risk factor for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) considers women with extremely dense breasts to be at moderately increased risk of cancer and recommends they talk with their doctors about adding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening to their yearly mammograms.

"Women under age 50 are most at risk from density-associated breast cancer, and breast cancer in younger women is frequently of a more aggressive type, with larger tumors and a higher risk of recurrence," said the study's senior author, Nicholas Perry, M.B.B.S., FRCS, FRCR, director at the London Breast Institute in London, U.K.

For the new study, Dr. Perry and colleagues compared breast density and cancer risk between younger and older women and analyzed how the risk relates to changes in breast density over time. The study group included 282 breast cancer cases and 317 healthy control participants who underwent full-field digital mammography, with breast density measured separately using an automated volumetric system.

"In general, we refer to breast density as being determined by mammographic appearance, and that has, by and large, in the past been done by visual estimation by the radiologist—in other words, subjective and qualitative," Dr. Perry said. "The automated system we used in the study is an algorithm that can be automatically and easily applied to a digital mammogram, which allows an
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SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
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