Beingdense.com is now established as a leading patient advocacy in Ireland, promoting awareness of Breast Density and the relevance of Supplemental Breast screening Ultrasound and MRI for women with Dense Breasts.
We recently Co-Hosted the first Irish Public Breast Density Seminar in Dublin at The Royal College of Surgeons in association with Breast Predict. http://www.breastpredict.com/videos/
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women in Ireland and the numbers diagnosed continue to rise year on year. Every year about 3,500 women are diagnosed with the disease. Four in ten women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged between 50-64 (41%), but younger women are also affected, with 23% of diagnosis occurring in women under 50.
The number of breast cancer survivors are increasing, with 83% of those with a breast cancer diagnosis now living 5 years and beyond. But there’s still much more we can do in our race to stop breast cancer. The Irish Cancer Society‘s first Collaborative Cancer Research Centre is called BREAST-PREDICT.
The feedback from the recent Breast Density Seminar ‘Mammographic Breast Density- What women need to know’ has been phenomenal.
Being Dense believes it will serve as a catalyst to further discussion and we hope that a Public Awareness campaign on Breast Density, which is a predominant risk factor for Breast Cancer, will develop. Currently women in Ireland are not routinely informed about their Breast Density when they participate in routine Breast Cancer screening. Beingdense.com warns that this practice is putting women at tisk. 43% of women aged 40 – 65 have Dense Breasts and women are NOT told. Breast Density is a Radiological finding and it is determined by having a Mammogram. Since both dense and cancer tissues appear white on the Mammogram, it is possible that cancer lesions can be “masked” or hidden by Dense tissue.
The medical community are called on to heed the great harm being done to women by the inaction of the medical profession and their refusal to notify women about their Breast Density
Today, Breast Density awareness is seen as a lifesaver. In part, that’s because if you have Dense Breasts, an ultrasound (a supplementary breast cancer screening for women with dense breasts) can detect a cancer that a mammogram may miss. Depending on the level of Density and other risk factors you may need an MRI.
Early detection matters.
Beingdense.com have approached the National screening service in the hope that a working group of patients and stakeholders from research and screening can be established to work towards developing awareness and education of Breast Density in Ireland.
Earlier this year we met Prof Jack Cuzick in University College Dublin
Prof Cuzick’s Keynote address emphasised the importance of personalised Breast Cancer screening.
Image courtesy of
Quotes from Prof Jack Cuzick –
“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 Breast Cancer risk 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”
“You get essentially a white out, so you can’t actually always see breast cancers, they’re hidden by this whiteness, Mammographic Breast Density, that’s called masking”
“That’s correct, Breast Cancer might be missed in women with Dense Breasts – yes. And it’s very clear that it is being missed in many cases. So there’s a lot of discussion about women who have Dense Breasts who probably don’t get as much protection from a mammogram so they need additional screening – ultrasound screening, in some cases MRI screening”
Breast Density has become part of a Global discussion in recent years. Beingdense.com want to see it become part of a National discussion here in Ireland.
Beingdense first heard about Breast Density from the amazing Nancy Cappello. In 2004 Nancy was diagnosed with late stage Breast Cancer. She went on to discover that she had Dense Breasts but that this, lifesaving information, had been kept from her
“I call it the best-kept secret” Nancy said – “but it WAS known in the medical community. I have dense breast tissue – and women like me (2/3 of pre-menopausal and 1/4 of post menopausal) have less than a 48% chance of having breast cancer detected by a mammogram”
Nancy Cappello was diagnosed with stage 3C breast cancer in February 2004, just six weeks after her annual mammogram came up normal. Her doctor told her that the cancer was missed on the mammogram because she had dense fibroglandular breast tissue, a concept that was little-known among patients at that time. Dense breast tissue appears white on a traditional 2-D mammogram, which can mask cancers that also show up as white. Women with extremely dense breast tissue are five times more likely to have breast cancer compared to women with fatty breasts.
What Dr Nancy Cappello achieved in terms of Breast Density advocacy, education and awareness for the medical community and women all over the world has been phenomenal. Breast imaging experts, patients, researchers, imaging technology specialists and above all Women everywhere, will benefit from the tenacity and advocacy of the late Dr Nancy Cappello. One woman, a tragic, delayed, late stage Breast Cancer diagnosis, a patient advocate who fought the medical and legislative processes, is a story that changed the course of women’s Breast Cancer screening forever.
Being Dense are incredibly excited to introduce you to the newest member of our team, Radiology Expert, Dr Julie Gershon. Dr Julie worked with Nancy Cappello on the Areyoudense.org US advocacy and we are honoured that she has agreed to support Beingdense.com by agreeing to be our Medical Advisor.
Julie S. Gershon, M.D. is a board certified breast radiologist in Avon, Connecticut. She has been in private practice for 21 years and specializes in Women’s Imaging, specifically mammography and breast ultrasound. Dr. Gershon began her own private practice for women in November 2013, and offers specialized and personalized imaging to her patients. She is an active member of the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging, and serves as a medical advisor for AreYouDense.org. Dr. Gershon is a strong advocate of screening breast ultrasound in dense breast patients and was presented with the “Champion” award from Are You Dense? in June 2016. Dr. Gershon resides in West Hartford, Connecticut with her husband and three children. We look forward to having Dr Julie on our team.
Beingdense wants to raise greater public awareness in Ireland of the connection between Breast tissue Density and Breast Cancer. We will work towards achieving a standard Breast Density notification protocol for women and we also want to support research aimed at the prevention and treatment of Breast Cancer and the screening risks of Dense Breast tissue.
You’re not Dense but Are Your Breasts
Email – Info@Beingdense.com
Take a look at Being Dense (@BreastDense): https://twitter.com/BreastDense