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February 25, 2020

Options for Addressing the Dilemma of Managing Dense Breasts

Author Affiliations
  • 1Breast Surgery Section, International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York
  • 2Breast Centre, Subang Jaya Medical Centre/Parkcity Medical Centre, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
JAMA Surg. 2020;155(4):279-280. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.0280

Breast density on mammography is a well-documented risk factor for a future breast cancer diagnosis.1 This association, and the desire to empower women regarding knowledge of their individualized breast cancer risk, has motivated several dozen states to enact legislation mandating patient notification of mammographic density, and in February 2019, federal law directed the US Food and Drug Administration to oversee a mammographic density–reporting process for the entire country.2 Approximately 40% to 50% of women in the United States will be found to have heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts, and this frequency has remained stable despite incorporation of advances in screening mammography, such as digital breast tomosynthesis.3 A formidable outstanding challenge, therefore, is for clinicians and patients to interpret this information and incorporate it into follow-up health care.

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