Study to improve dense breast tissue detection
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mammograms are still the gold standard when it comes to detecting breast cancer. But a certain things like dense breast tissue can make reading a mammogram more challenging. That's because tumors in dense tissue can be harder to find. Doctors are developing new ways to help women and doctors find breast cancer earlier.
Ten percent of American women have dense breast tissue. A recent study by the National Cancer Institute shows those with dense breasts were no more likely to die than patients whose tissue wasn't as dense, but dense tissue has been associated with a four- to six-fold increase in a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, partly because tumors in dense tissue can be harder to spot with a mammogram.
"Mammography is the most effective tool that we have for detecting early breast cancer," said Dr. Jennifer Harvey, radiology professor and director of breast imaging at the University of Virginia. "The way that we measure breast density is not very good."
Harvey is a breast-imaging expert. She says there currently is no easy way to measure breast density. So she's developing something to help women better understand their cancer risk.
"Our goal in this study is that we are going to include breast density into a risk model," said Harvey. "It will be: Here is your result and here is what your risk of breast cancer is."
The doctor believes the personalized model could help women determine how often they should get mammograms, instead of relying on age-based recommendations.
The first phase of Harvey's risk-model study is being funded by a $5.5 million government grant. It will continue to be developed over the next three years. If successful the model could be available for widespread use within six years.
health, women's health, cancer, healthy living, denise dador
- Missing hiker rescued in Santa Clarita canyon 4 min ago
- Missing jetliner made it to Malacca Strait 58 min ago
- Lead found in soil at homes, school in Vernon
- Overturned big rig shuts lanes on 91 East
- Prosecutor: OC couple's murder not about money
- Remains of Hollywood Park racehorse exhumed
- Suspect arrested in Hollywood severed head case
- Montclair hit-run kills woman, injures teen
- Sandy Hook gunman's father breaks silence
- Colorado collects $2M in recreational pot taxes
- abcnews: Family calls 911, held hostage by pet cat
- Parents distracted by devices, study says
- Justin Bieber gets mad in deposition video
- OTRC: Elisabeth Moss: Armisen marriage 'traumatic'
- LA launches campaign to shut illegal pot...
38 min ago