BBC Radio4 tackles Breast Density issue

Dr Mark Porter BBC Radio 4, asks pertinent questions in relation to breast density and the devastating associated breast cancer risks. Hit link below to hear in full.

Dr Mark Porter discusses Breast Density with Prof Jack Cuzick Head of Cancer Prevention Queen Mary University London

Excerpts from the programme below –

Karla Kerlikowske is Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at University California San Francisco.


So we did the largest study that’s ever been done with over 18,000 breast cancer cases and over 200,000 women. By and large breast density was the most important risk factor, whether you were pre-menopausal or post-menopausal. Breast density accounted for over a third of breast cancers in pre-menopausal women and in post-menopausal women it was 26%. Other risk factors, such as family history of breast cancer, less than 10% of breast cancer develops because of having those risk factors. And I always give the analogy is if you get rid of smoking you would basically eliminate 70% of lung cancers. And you can think of this in a similar way. If all these women who had high breast density, if we could reduce them to have average breast density, in pre-menopausal women we’d eliminate the development of 39% of breast cancers and in post-menopausal women 26%.

Professor Jack Cuzik

In terms of the more common factors breast density dominates things like weight or like alcohol consumption. It’s more important than things like hormone replacement therapy. So it really is an important factor. The problem with dense breasts is that it essentially makes, in some cases, the breasts completely white. Now the way you would detect a cancer with standard mammography is to look for white spots on the breasts, so they’re completely hidden and you just can’t see them.

Read the full transcript on line (link above) and encourage your friends to read it also.

Irish women are NOT routinely told about their breast density and are therefore at increased risk.

Spread the word #breastdensity 👭Irish women emowering one another, we really need to advocate for change to current breast screening protocols, a one size fits all policy is no longer good enough.

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