14 May, 2014

New York Passes New Breast Density Notification Law

Effective May 2014 - the new Breast Density Notification Law requires health care facilities to notify women categorized as having dense breast tissue about their condition and the impact it can have on their breast health.

New York Private Medical Imaging will include new information in its patient screening mammography results letter that:

  • Informs patients whether or not their breasts are “not dense” or “dense.”

  • Explains that dense breast tissue can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram and may be associated with increased risk of cancer.

What is breast density?

Breast density refers to the type of tissue prevalent in the breasts. The breast is composed of glandular (ductal), fibrous and fatty tissue. Women with more fibrous connective and glandular tissue than fatty tissue have greater breast density.

Radiologists assign breast density into four categories:

  1. Fatty

  2. Scattered Fibroglandular Densities (average densities)

  3. Heterogeneous Dense

  4. Extremely Dense

Why does density matter?

  • The more dense the breast tissue, the whiter it appears on a mammogram. Since breast cancer also appears white on a mammogram, it is more difficult to detect cancer in a dense breast.

  • According to some studies, having dense breasts puts women at a higher risk for breast cancer.

What are additional imaging options?

Women with dense breasts may need additional imaging tests to help detect breast cancer that may not show up on their mammograms. The following tests may be appropriate for some women

  • Breast MRI

  • Breast Ultrasound

Learn more about Women’s Imaging Services

14 May, 2014 | NEWS
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