April 17, 2018 — April 2018 marks the third anniversary of the launch of DenseBreast-info.org, the educational resource for medically sourced information and legislation focusing on fibroglandular breast density. The organization reports it has had 230,000 site visitors to date.
Currently 34 states, encompassing over 84 percent of American women, have enacted laws that require some level of density notification following a mammogram. Studies indicate that many medical professionals feel unprepared for patient discussions on the topic. “Both women with dense breasts and healthcare providers have questions on how dense breast tissue affects cancer screening and personal risk for the development of the disease. We saw an informational gap,” said Wendie Berg, M.D., the website’s chief scientific advisor and a radiologist at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “DenseBreast-info.org was launched to address the question: ‘Have dense breasts? What do I do now?’ when the next steps may be unclear.”
DenseBreast-info.org was started as a collaboration between breast imaging experts and medical reviewers. The site offers a wide range of information, from FAQs, screening decision tools and risk tutorials to an interactive map featuring legislative analysis, explanation about common screening modalities, a CME course and more. The goal of the site is to help all women and their doctors “Get Smart About Being Dense.”
Launched in April 2015, the website had an average monthly visitor count of 16,000, with projections for 20,000 per month by October 2018. More than 80 percent of users are first -ime visitors and are evenly split between patients and healthcare providers. The website’s information has been viewed by people from more than 175 countries.The CME/CE program launched in 2016 is based entirely on website content and is approved for two American Medical Association category 1 credits. The website’s full-color downloadable patient brochure can be ordered in quantity by imaging centers for patient distribution
This year, the organization announced plans for international expansion in Europe and neighboring countries. An international coalition of physicians was appointed to develop and curate international material, while a group of DenseBreast-info.org Ambassadors was named to promote site visibility. Berg and the website’s European liaison, Athina Vourtsi, M.D., have prepared a review article on breast density and supplemental screening.
In the U.S., outreach efforts include both English and Spanish Facebook pages, with more than 3,500 followers each. The Spanish page offers a trio of educational videos, bringing an important breast care message to this segment of the population. Development of a video series for English-speaking audiences is in progress.
“Since its inception, DenseBreast-info.org has reached thousands of women and health providers, delivering important information about the implications of dense breast tissue in masking breast cancer and risk,” said the organization’s executive director JoAnn Pushkin. “With a growing number of visitors, information and resources in place, we have taken major steps forward in accomplishing our mission of making breast density educational tools easily accessible to every woman and healthcare provider seeking them.”
For more information: www.densebreast-info.org