Different densities in either breast has complicated interpretation of screening mammography, Elizabeth Tracey reports


High breast density has added complexity to the value of screening mammography, and now a new wrinkle has emerged, with a recent study showing that different densities in each breast can be a risk factor for breast cancer. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: They had 289 cases of breast cancer. They assigned 2 controls each, they tried to match for the right age and the number of mammograms they had. They watched the breast density over 10 years average age was about 56,57 years old and what they found was that the breast that ultimately proved to harbor cancer had a slower decline in the mammographic density so high mammographic density a little bit increased risk of breast cancer. High density that doesn't decline as rapidly over time they also be a harbinger of breast cancer.    :30

Nelson says that after menopause breast density declines, and when it doesn’t that may raise concerns. He says this may be one more analysis done with mammography to pinpoint risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.