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Breast cancer symptoms: Women unaware that breast density is an increased risk factor

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Dense breast tissue increases the risk of developing breast cancer by up to four times. But new research shows that many women are unaware of the risks of breast density.

Dense breasts refer to breasts that are made up of more fibrous and glandular tissue compared to adipose tissue and can be detected while undergoing a mammogram.

Research published in Jama network open On January 23rd, we surveyed 1,858 women between the ages of 40 and 76 between 2019 and 2020. These women had recently undergone mammography, had no history of breast cancer, and had heard of breast density.

compared with other well-known risk factors, such as having a relative with breast cancer, being overweight or obese, drinking more than one alcoholic drink per day, not having children, and not being pregnant. We assessed women’s understanding that breast density is a significant breast cancer risk. Previous breast biopsy.

Few women perceive breast density as a strong personal risk factor, although studies have associated breast density with a 1.2- to 4-fold increased risk of developing breast cancer. bottom. Instead, her 93% of women considered family history to be the greatest risk, followed by 65% ​​of women who said overweight or obesity was a greater risk than breast density.

Of the 61 women interviewed, only 6 said breast density contributed to breast cancer risk. However, most women correctly recognized that breast density can make mammograms difficult to read.

When asked what they could do to reduce their risk of breast cancer, about a third of women were unsure whether they could reduce their risk of breast cancer or what actions they could take. I said I don’t know.

However, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. A breast screening, also called a mammogram, is an x-ray of a woman’s breasts used to check for breast cancer. Mammograms can detect signs of breast cancer that are otherwise invisible, symptoms that are not palpable, and can check for breast cancer after a lump or other signs of breast cancer have been detected.

of American Cancer Society recommends that women between the ages of 45 and 54 have an annual mammogram. Women between the ages of 40 and her 44 also have the option to start screening earlier, and women over the age of 55 can switch to biennial mammograms if they choose.

Nearly half of women over the age of 40 who undergo mammograms are found to have dense breasts. National Cancer InstituteBreast density is often hereditary, but it can also be seen in younger women, women on hormone replacement therapy, or women who are underweight.

A new type of mammogram called digital breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography – It has recently been shown to be more effective for women with denser breasts.

Other studies have shown that imaging tests such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help detect some breast cancers that are not seen on mammograms. Experts have yet to strongly suggest that women with dense breasts should undergo additional screening. Advisory Statement on Breast Cancer Screening By the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

People with dense breasts should talk to their health care provider about their personal risk of developing breast cancer.

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