European report heralds change in breast screening protocols.

Researchers from the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Radboud University in Nijmegen carried out a study “ADAPTING BREAST CANCER SCREENING STRATEGY USING PERSONALISED RISK ESTIMATION”

“The idea is to go from a one-size-fits-all approach to a personalised screening protocol.”

In Ireland our National breast screening service, BreastCheck – currently provides a one size fits all screening service for women over 50 and does not have a protocol in place to provide written radiology reports.

They issue a clearance/re-call letter after mammogram but BreastCheck radiologists are not required to write or issue radiology reports to their patients.

“The sensitivity of mammographic screening is seriously impaired in women with dense breasts. Fibroglandular and stromal tissue reduce the sensitivity. They look equally bright as tumours on mammographic images. This causes tumours to remain masked for radiologists and thus breast cancer to remain undetected.”

BreastCheck does not recognise breast density as a clinical indicator. There are several studies published putting breast density on a level par with all other breast cancer indicators.

Irish women are not routinely given information regarding their breast density. 40% of women have dense breast tissue. Our current Irish national breast screening protocols places these women at risk of undetected and delayed breast cancer diagnoses.

Irish radiologists, please engage with this. Irish women deserve openness and discussion on their breast density levels.

Summary of European Commission research

Ask for your breast density levels. Protect your right to information and choice of breast health screening. @BreastDense

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