Breast Density – A 2020 Discussion

Discover why women in Ireland must be made aware of their Breast Density and the associated risk linked to Breast Cancer.

It’s important to know why women need to know. It’s critical then to act accordingly to ensure that women are informed. would hope that in 2020 an open, nuanced and evidence-based societal discussion can take place. In June 2019 Beingdense and BreastPredict co- hosted the first Irish Public Seminar on Breast Density.

We plan to engage with women, scientists, researchers and Breast Cancer organisations again in 2020 to continue the discussion which began in the RCSI this year.

When a woman has a Mammogram she should be informed about her Mammographic Density.

It has long been known that Mammographic Breast Density can mask Breast Cancer.

There is no short supply of evidence to support the importance of a woman’s right to know about her biological markers for Breast Cancer.

Breast Density is an independent risk factor for Breast Cancer.

Professor Wendy Ingman looking at the white and bright regions on a mammogram. Breast density is shown as white and bright regions – but so too are potential tumours.


Prof Wendy Ingham and colleagues from around Australia “collectively appreciated that the problem of breast density contributing to missed cancers by mammography was serious, such that it warranted the unprecedented action of research scientists to form a national alliance, “step out of their labs” and start a conversation with the Australian community”. Full peer reviewed abstract click here.

Decades of research exists to support the right for women to seek Breast Density Notification Policy.

Studies have consistently demonstrated that high mammographic density is a strong breast cancer risk factor. Therefore, understanding factors that affect mammographic density and their underlying mechanisms are important, yet under studied.

The Results of the DENSE TRIAL

After nine years we can finally present the results of the DENSE trial on Breast Cancer Screening with MRI in Women with Extremely Dense Breast Tissue:
Together with co-PI Carla van Gils, Marije Bakker, Ruud Pijnappel, Stéphanie de Lange, many other co-authors and collaborators and with the trust of thousands of participants, we have added 3T MRI to the Dutch digital mammography breast cancer screening program

The results show that offering additional MRI after an initial negative (no cancer) mammogram, results in the detection of more breast cancers. More importantly, the number of interval cancers was also reduced.

See how the cancer tumour is almost completely masked in the Dense Breast image on the right.

You can help Breast Density advocacy in Ireland by sharing this with other women, family, friends and colleagues.

Currently Irish women are not routinely informed about their Breast Density when they attend for a screening Mammogram.

40% of women have Dense Breasts and most women do not know the risks associated with Breast Cancer. When women are informed they can make informed decisions and choices about Supplemental Breast Ultrasound or MRI.

It’s smart to know about Being Dense

Twitter @breastdense

Face Book @breastdensityreporting

One thought on “Breast Density – A 2020 Discussion

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    An update for the next decade. We have a lot more to do on this issue.
    Women must be given the information about their own biological markers. Breast Density is an independent risk factor for Breast Cancer.


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