Breast Density

Breast density, or fibroglandular density, is found through breast imaging and varies based on the amount of fat to the amount of connective tissue. About 50 percent of women have what is referred to as dense breasts, where the tissue appears white on mammograms and can hide cancers, which also appear white. Women with very dense breasts may need to undergo supplemental imaging that can see through dense breast tissue, such as breast ultrasound, breast MRI or nuclear imaging. Many U.S. states now have legislation requiring radiologists to inform patients if they have dense breasts. Some states also now require insurance companies to cover supplemental imaging  in these patients. Breast density is graded into 4 classes, or BI-RAD scores, to explain the level of density in the radiology report. 

55-year-old woman who underwent screening mammogram and ultrasound 7 days after first COVID-19 vaccination dose. Screening mammogram and US demonstrated unilateral left axillary lymph node with cortical thickness of 5 mm on ultrasound (not shown). BI-RADS category 0 was assigned. Ultrasound from diagnostic work-up performed 7 days later showed no change in lymph node size. BI-RADS 3 was assigned. #COVIDvaccine #COVID19

55-year-old woman who underwent screening mammogram and ultrasound 7 days after first COVID-19 vaccination dose. Screening mammogram and US demonstrated unilateral left axillary lymph node with cortical thickness of 5 mm on ultrasound (not shown). BI-RADS category 0 was assigned. Ultrasound from diagnostic work-up performed 7 days later showed no change in lymph node size. BI-RADS 3 was assigned.

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A comparison of standard mammography imaging (left) in a woman with dense breasts and a breast MRI imaging study (right) showing a clearly defined cancer and is extremely hard to detect on the mammograms.

A comparison of standard mammography imaging (left) in a woman with dense breasts and a breast MRI imaging study (right) showing a clearly defined cancer and is extremely hard to detect on the mammograms. Images from Christiane Kuhl, M.D.

Feature | MRI Breast | February 17, 2021 | By Dave Fornell, Editor
Dense breast tissue can hide cancers in mammograms in about half of women. Supplemental imaging is often needed to...
Screening strategy based on baseline breast density at age 40 may be effective and cost-effective for reducing breast cancer mortality

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News | Breast Density | February 10, 2021
February 10, 2021 — A mammography screening strategy based on a baseline breast density measure at age 40 may be the...
Comparison of breast cancer mortality rates (red squares) and distant-stage breast cancer incidence rates from SEER9 (blue dots) and SEER18 (green dots) per 100,000 for white women aged, A, 20–39, B, 40–69, and, C, 70–79 years (3,7,8).

Comparison of breast cancer mortality rates (red squares) and distant-stage breast cancer incidence rates from SEER9 (blue dots) and SEER18 (green dots) per 100,000 for white women aged, A, 20–39, B, 40–69, and, C, 70–79 years (3,7,8). Image courtesy of Radiology 

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Volpara Health, a health technology software company whose integrated breast care platform assists in the delivery of personalized patient care, announced the acquisition of CRA Health, LLC, a breast cancer risk assessment company spinoff from Massachusetts General Hospital — a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

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News | Breast Imaging | February 02, 2021
February 2, 2021 — Volpara Health, a health technology software company whose integrated breast care platform assists...
A nationwide panel of experts has developed the first mammography guidelines for older survivors of breast cancer, providing a framework for discussions between survivors and their physicians on the pros and cons of screening in survivors' later years.

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News | Mammography | January 29, 2021
January 29, 2021 — A nationwide panel of experts has developed the first mammography guidelines for older survivors of...
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The four standard views of an individual mammogram were fed into Mirai. The image encoder mapped each view to a vector, and the image aggregator combined the four view vectors into a single vector for the mammogram. In this work, we used a single shared ResNet-18 as an image encoder, and a transformer as our image aggregator. The risk factor predictor module predicted all the risk factors used in the Tyrer-Cuzick model, including age, detailed family history, and hormonal factors, from the mammogram vector.

The four standard views of an individual mammogram were fed into Mirai. The image encoder mapped each view to a vector, and the image aggregator combined the four view vectors into a single vector for the mammogram. In this work, we used a single shared ResNet-18 as an image encoder, and a transformer as our image aggregator. The risk factor predictor module predicted all the risk factors used in the Tyrer-Cuzick model, including age, detailed family history, and hormonal factors, from the mammogram vector. The additive hazard layer combined information from both the image aggregator and risk factors (predicted or given) to predict coherent risk assessments across 5 years (Yr).

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Radiologists have recently taken on the role of activists and are tackling pressing issues in healthcare, including breast density

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Feature | Women's Health | January 20, 2021 | By Fazila Seker, Ph.D.
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A targeted intervention providing mammograms to hospitalized Medicaid patients can help patients complete overdue breast cancer screening

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News | Mammography | January 14, 2021
January 14, 2021 — Completing cancer screening tests, such as mammograms, can be challenging for low-income people, who...
DB-I website features new educational tools and streamlined user experience to improve access to medically sourced breast density content
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World-first techniques for predicting breast cancer risk from mammograms that were developed in Melbourne could revolutionise breast screening by allowing it to be tailored to women at minimal extra cost

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News | Mammography | January 06, 2021
January 6, 2021 — World-first techniques for predicting breast cancer risk from mammograms that were developed in...
Transaction accelerates Hologic’s entry into oncology growth market, provides new lab capabilities

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News | Breast Imaging | January 06, 2021
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News | Breast Imaging | January 04, 2021
January 4, 2021 — Smart Breast Corporation (SmartBreast), a privately held company focused on breast cancer screening...
Volpara Health announced two new research studies using AI-powered software to score breast density objectively and consistently to evaluate its impact in mammography and breast cancer risk assessment.
News | Breast Density | December 30, 2020
December 30, 2020 — Volpara Health announced two new research studies using AI-powered software to score breast density...
The American College of Radiology (ACR), Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), patient advocates and others secured an extension of the moratorium on harmful 2009 and 2016 United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines from Dec. 31, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2022.

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News | Breast Imaging | December 29, 2020
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Image courtesy of Zeiss

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December 21, 2020 — According to recent studies, an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate correlates to an increase...