The Frequency of Your Mammograms Depend On the Density of Your Breast Tissue

When a woman crosses the age of 50, she begins to wonder how many mammograms she might need in the next couple of years. Thanks to some new research put out by the Annals of Internal Medicine, there is now a method of corresponding the number of scans needed to that of their risk for the disease.

  • The number of screenings a woman needs depends on her breast density among other factors: Apart from the density of the woman’s breast tissue, factors such as the age of the woman, her ethnic background, her family’s histories of breast cancer, and her own history of out of the norm breast issues should be considered. For some of these women, this translates into a need to get a mammogram at least once every year, which is still two times as much as today’s suggested level.
  • The newest studies combine the data of various physicians as well as 3 teams of modelers for cancer detection: In the research, participants were divided into various categories depending on their individual level of breast densities and cancer risk. This produced a risk calculator that calculates how likely a woman is to develop the disease over 5 and 10 years, compared to the mean. This also assigns a density measure called a BI-RADS value which is useful to calculate risk.
  • Multiple factors play a role in detection: According to researchers, getting digital mammograms ensured that the detection of cancer was easier. Other factors considered were the decrease of breast density with age, as well as the improving rates of treating breast cancer successfully.

To conclude, dense breast tissue found in women older than fifty should get a mammogram once a year. With low breast density however, it may be sufficient to get screened once every three years. The current average is once every two years.

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