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Between 40 and 50 percent of women of screening age have dense breasts, putting them at a higher risk of developing breast cancer and leaving them – and their doctors – with a multitude of unanswered questions about the best path forward when it comes to breast cancer screening.
Now, with this new FDA approval identifying the Genius exam as superior for women with dense breasts, there is finally clear direction on how to screen this large population of women.
Density is only identifiable on an image taken by a mammogram or other breast cancer screening exam, and reflects how much fibrous or glandular tissue is in the breast. Women with dense breasts often require additional imaging, which can result in increased patient anxiety and unnecessary costs.
Perhaps most importantly, women with very dense breasts are four to five times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with less dense breasts. To increase awareness of this issue, thirty-one states require some level of breast density notification after a mammogram, but often this can result in confusion for women receiving the notification letters, because they do not provide them with a clear answer on what it means for them.
The Genius 3D Mammography Breast Cancer Screening is now the only mammogram available that is FDA-approved as superior for women with dense breasts for routine breast cancer screening over conventional 2D mammography. The Genius exam, on the market since 2011, is available in all fifty states and this updated labeling is based on clinical studies proving that the exam improves invasive breast cancer detection while reducing unnecessary recalls among women of all breast densities, including those with dense breasts.
3D Mammography Breast Cancer Screening
Dr. Sally Friedewald, Chief of Breast and Women’s Imaging, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, joined me to explain what 3D mammography is. She also discussed the significance of this update and what it means for all women, as well as important factors to consider when discussing breast cancer screening options with your physician.
Take a listen below.