August 7th, 2012

The Latest Mammogram Controversy: Density

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Nancy Cappello had annual mammograms for a decade and each time radiologists noted in their reports that she had dense breast tissue…When her doctor found a suspicious ridge during a manual exam eight years ago, she had a mammogram and an ultrasound on the same day. The mammogram again spotted nothing amiss, but an ultrasound found a tumor the size of a quarter. Her breast cancer had also spread to 13 lymph nodes. …Studies show that having dense breasts raises the risk of developing breast cancer fourfold to sixfold. "It's a greater risk factor than having a mother or sister with the disease," but few women know this, says Deborah J. Rhodes, a preventive medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Most of the physicians ordering these tests are also in the dark about this and the implications for women," she says.

 

Wall Street Journal by Melinda Beck

Tags: Breast Cancer, breast cancer risk, breast density, Dr. Deborah J. Rhodes, mammogram, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Preventive Medicine, Wall Street Journal

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