Monday, September 30, 2013
Well, another piece of the cancer puzzle fell into place for me over the weekend. I have always known that my breasts are considered dense by radiologists and it makes mammograms harder to read, but I never really understood how much harder it made it to find cancer through mammography. Even with digital mammography, it's still much more difficult to detect breast cancer. According to a radiologist, a normal mammogram is only about 40% accurate for women with dense breasts.
Not only is it more difficult to detect breast cancer in dense breasts, women who have dense breasts are at a much higher risk of getting breast cancer than the average woman. All other things being equal, women with dense breasts have 6 to 8 times greater risk of developing breast cancer.
I am one of those womem who fell through the cracks with a false negative result on my last mammogram and I trusted that result.
I write about this because I want women who have dense breasts to know not only about the difficulty of detecting breast cancer with mammograms, but also that womem like us are at increased risk.
So....feel your boobs. Even if you have had a normal mammogram the day or week before, don't hesitate to notify your healthcare provider if you feel something and remind them you have dense breasts. Hopefully, that will trigger your provider to order a diagnostic ultrasound.
Tell your women friends, your daughters, anyone you can think of about this.
If you are dense....feel your boobs! Even if you aren't dense....feel your boobs.