Not a Twist of Fate

If something happens by a twist of fate, it happens by chance, and it is strange, interesting, or unfortunate in some way.

How often have we heard someone say, if only I had known I would have done something about it… often have you said it yourself?

7 out of 10 women do NOT know their breast density –  Do you?

The sensitivity of mammography to detect breast cancer is reduced in women with Dense Breasts, because potential tumours, which are shown as white on a mammogram, can be masked by the white dense regions.  It is also known that breast cancer is more likely to develop in women with dense breast tissue. 


BreastCheck is the Irish Government-funded programme that provides free mammograms to eligible Irish women on a geographical area by area basis every two years.

The aim of BreastCheck is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding and treating the disease at an early stage.

According to BreastCheck:

Regular breast screening means that if there are changes, they will be found as early as possible.

Finding a breast cancer when it is small normally means: There is a greater chance of treating the cancer successfully. It is less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. There may be more treatment options available is the Irish patient advocacy on Breast Density.  We recognise that Mammography is the first step in screening for women. There are some cancers and precancerous changes that will show better on a mammogram.

Women with Dense Breasts are at high risk for developing breast cancer and additional, supplemental screening is recommended. Ultrasound is recognised as the best method of detection in women with Dense Breasts.

Our Irish BREAST screening programme does not recognise Breast Density as a clinical indicator and does NOT routinely inform a woman when her mammogram determines that she has Dense Breasts.

Currently, in Ireland there are no clinical guidelines in place for the reporting of  Breast Density

Why are women not told when they have Dense Breasts?

Should it be left to chance, or happen in a strange or unfortunate way?

A woman’s Breast Density can only be determined by mammography.

Is it ironic then, perhaps a cruel twist of fate for some women, that the one person who can identify this potential Breast Cancer risk, is not obliged to inform her about it.

When the radiologist reading your mammogram can see that you have Dense Breasts, should you not be told? Beingdense advocates that women should be advised of all their riskfactors, including breast density.

Do you know what Interval Cancer is?

Interval Cancers are breast cancers that are discovered in the period between regular screening mammograms—Interval Cancers—are more likely to have features associated with aggressive behavior and a poorer prognosis than cancers found via screening mammograms. They are more likely to be late stage large tumors with nodal spread. would like you to support our Patient Advocacy. We want women to be advised and educated about Breast Density.

We are asking Mr Simon Harris to introduce clinical guidelines in Ireland for the reporting of Breast Density and associated risks, as standard screening mammography reporting protocol.

Please copy and paste this page content and email it to The Minister for Health at

Thank you. E-mail







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