Why It Issues: A Potential Warning Signal
Shu Jiang, the examine’s lead writer and an affiliate professor of public well being sciences at Washington College, mentioned the findings may present an individualized and dynamic software for assessing a lady’s breast most cancers danger. “I hope they’ll get this into scientific use as quickly as potential — it would make an enormous distinction,” she mentioned.
“Proper now, all people solely appears at density at one time limit,” Dr. Jiang added. However ladies have mammograms at common intervals all through their lives, and the density of every breast is measured every time.
“So this info is definitely already accessible, however it’s not being utilized,” she mentioned. Now, a lady’s danger of growing breast most cancers may “be up to date each time she will get a brand new mammogram.”
Background: Breast Density Issues
Breast density is now an acknowledged danger issue for breast most cancers, albeit one among many. Dense tissue additionally makes tumors tougher to detect in imaging scans.
Dozens of states have began requiring mammography facilities to inform ladies if they’ve dense breast tissue. In March, the Meals and Drug Administration really useful that suppliers inform ladies about their breast density.
However that is the primary examine to measure adjustments in density over time and to report a hyperlink to breast most cancers.
What’s Subsequent: Discovering Girls at Danger
Although bigger research will should be performed to verify the findings, Karen Knudsen, chief government of the American Most cancers Society, referred to as the information “thrilling.”
“That is the primary examine I’ve seen that appears particularly throughout time at adjustments from breast to breast, as a substitute of averaging the 2 breasts, the place you may miss these adjustments,” Dr. Knudsen mentioned.
Though ladies are supplied the details about breast density and the dangers related to it, the examine means that info may very well be higher used. “We have to know methods to observe ladies with dense breasts, as a substitute of simply alerting them,” Dr. Knudsen mentioned.
One subsequent step could to be study breast density over time in ladies taking treatment to forestall breast most cancers to see if the density decreases, Dr. Knudsen instructed.
“There may very well be totally different danger stratification tips set as much as monitor those that are having a lot slower decline in tissue density, versus those that aren’t,” Dr. Jiang mentioned.