Breast Density Cause of Concern for Earlier Mammograms
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You’ll soon be seeing pink everywhere—in schools, the grocery store, even the football field. While the national attention on this important health is great, it still comes down to individual women. Take the time to schedule a screening mammogram. It is an important tool in finding cancer in its earliest, and most treatable, stage.
The Breast Center at St. Joseph Hospital is hosting a FREE event, The Pink Party, for women to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On October 4, enjoy food, beverages, chair massages, skin and make up tips, shopping and more at the Breast Center, 1000 Carondelet Dr. Plus, talk with breast center specialists about the latest in detection and treatment of breast cancer. Call 816-943-2584 to make your reservation.
The ongoing public debate over the value of mammography screening and potential downsides was not slowed by the recent new recommendations from the American Cancer Society (ACS), that women of average risk for breast cancer should begin annual breast screening at age 45, instead of 40. And, that at 55, women should transition to mammograms every two years. The guideline development group concluded that, because of the lower incidence risk for breast cancer in women aged 40 to 44 and a somewhat higher risk for false positives, beginning this screening process at 40 was no longer warranted.
Experts in the Breast Center at St. Joseph Medical Center believe it is still warranted, for a number of reasons. Even under age 40, women with dense breast tissue are at elevated risk for breast cancer. Women with very dense breasts are four to five times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with low breast density. It is harder to interpret mammograms in women with dense breasts. That’s why the state of Missouri now requires radiologists to report breast density in all cases and to notify patients that they may benefit from supplemental screening. At the Breast Center at St. Joseph, patients are provided with risk assessment, breast density and if indicated, recommendations for further screening. The Breast Center at St. Joseph Medical Center offers walk-in mammography for your convenience, but you can also schedule by calling 816-943-4799, option 2.