NEW California density reporting legislation is signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Read the story here.
Virginia is the third state to pass legislation requiring density reporting. Read the Washington Post article.
Two studies analyzing data from Connecticut after the patient density notification legislation was enacted indicate that an additional 3.2 cancers were detected per 1,000 mammograms in women with dense breast tissue and negative findings on the mammogram, nearly doubling the early detection in this population.
Read the Marketwatch Article
Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) has greater sensitivity and comparable specificity compared to mammography and ultrasound, according to a new study presented Tuesday at RSNA. A second study presented Tuesday showed that, unlike mammography, BSGI is as effective in detecting breast cancer in women with dense and non-dense breasts. More...
Overall Mammogram Sensitivity
Mammography is only about 75% sensitive across the range of densities (Carney, et al, Radiology 2010), and even digital mammography is less than 60% sensitive for women with high breast tissue density (DMIST, Pisano, Radiology 2008).
Breast Density Prevalence
Approximately 40% of a general screening population will be classified as having high breast tissue density (Stomper, et al, American Journal of Radiology 1996).
Density and Cancer Prevalence
Approximately 71% of breast cancers occur in women with high density breast tissue (>50%) (Arora, et al,
Annals of Surgical Oncology, 2010).
Screening mammography misses at least 36% of breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue (Boyd, et al, NEJM 2007).
Tumor Size and Lethality
Tumor lethality is directly linked to size at detection, and lethality can be linked to size and number of positive nodes (Michaelson, et al, Cancer 2009; Tot, et al, Human Pathology 2011).
Supplemental screening breast ultrasound increases the detection of breast cancers in women with high density and negative mammograms by a statistically significant and numerically high percentage (55%) ( ACRIN 6666, Berg, et al, JAMA 2008); Automated supplementary breast ultrasound has been shown to also increase the detection of breast cancer in women with high density and negative mammograms (Kelly, et al, Eur Radiol 2010).
Both the ACRIN trial and Kelly et al found most of the increased detection in small, invasive cancers that would have gone on to be discovered at a larger size, later time and higher stage.