More than a Mammogram was established in 2016. It’s an Educational and Awareness Site designed to let women know about Breast Density. Most of you reading this will know from the Blog posts and Social Media up dates I frequently post on Twitter and Facebook.

Why is it important?

Recently we designed a Request Form to assist women who want to know their Personal Category of Breast Density. Breast Density is determined by the Radiologist/reader of your Mammogram. It is a visual Radiological finding and shows up as white areas on your Mammogram.

Breast Density Request Form Breast Density is Classified into 4 categories, A – D. If you are a woman and have Category C or D you need to know, because Breast Density masks Breast Cancer. Women with Dense Breasts (Category C or D) cannot rely on just Mammogram and will benefit from additional Screening Ultrasound or MRI

It has been suggested that asking about Breast Density is causing many women levels of anxiety and their Request for their Category of Breast Density is not been considered. Please don’t be disheartened or fobbed off. Having Dense Breasts puts a woman at an increased risk of developing Breast Cancer. Having Dense Breasts means your Mammogram may not be reliable enough and you need #MorethanaMammogram

The image above clearly demonstrates why a Woman should ask for her personal Category of Breast Density. The request form is designed to help. Just download and Print off, fill in your details and submit a copy to your GP for your Medical Records AND submit a copy to your Mammogram Facility or bring it to your next Mammogram.

This information is not routinely given to Women in Ireland. You may have to be persistent.

Anxiety is caused when Women are not given information on request. Anxiety is caused when women are not listened to. Asking for this level of information should not incur any kind of negative response and your request should in no way be ignored. We encourage all women to ask for this information by using the request link above.

Women with Mammographically Dense Breasts are routinely given Ultrasound in many parts of Europe, Australia and most of Canada and the USA.

In February 2019 the FDA mandated that ALL women in the USA be notified about their Breast Density with their Mammogram Results. It is an independent risk factor for developing Breast Cancer. It is a higher risk than Familial risk, which is taken very seriously.

This information is available to you in Ireland but it is not routinely shared with you. It’s determined by your Mammogram. It is a Visual Radiological finding. Knowing about your Breast Density will help to determine the most effective Breast Cancer Screening for you and additional Screening if you are Classified as Category C or D – while NOT KNOWING can have serious consequences for you. Until there is a Standardised Notification Protocol in place, it is up to you to ASK – and keep ASKING until your Request is answered.

If you already know about us and are familiar with Breast Density and associated risks, we’re glad and we only ask that you share this post and the Request Form with all the Women in your life. Friends, Family, Colleagues at work, sharing this information could save a life, how special would that be.

There is no shame in asking questions about your Breast Density. If you are made to feel uncomfortable or anxious when you do ask, then ask again but more decisively. Please don’t take NO for an answer. There are no excuses.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with Stage 3c Breast Cancer after years of Clear Mammograms and most recent 6 months earlier in June 2015. In 2020 I was told that my Breast Cancer was not seen on my Mammograms because I had Dense Breasts. I needed #MorethanaMammogram but no one told me and I had no way of knowing. There are so many of us out there. Please don’t wait to be told, act now and become informed. Your Category of Breast Density A, B, C or D as determined by your Mammogram is as important as knowing your Blood Pressure and needs to be freely available on Request until it is Routinely Available to all of us.

Early Detection of small Node Negative Breast Cancer is so important

2 thoughts on “More than a Mammogram

  1. Wow! thank you for posting this. My mum had 2 bouts of breast cancer when I was in my teens and when I was doing my own breast checks I realised they were…lumpy. And I couldn’t and still cant tell the good from the bad. At 18 my GP referred me to breast check as he readily admitted they were dense (he dealt with my mum too) and he couldnt discern either. BreastCheck just gave me a physical exam just like the GP. In my 30s I moved to germany and there on feeling my breast the gynecologist…who also was doing the smear test, offered me a breast Ultrasound when I told her my family history and my own experience. I got them annually. Back in Ireland now I am wondering how I can get this done here. I have read the literature suggesting ambiguity (false positive if I remember correctly) of ultrasound makes it not a suitable screening method but it definitely has an important role to play for those of us with dense breasts. And I fully believe i have way more anxiety not knowing what is going on in my breast than going for annual perhaps not perfect, AND painless I might add, ultrasound. If you ever need help preparing proposals to screening or add on services to NSAC or anything else I’d love to help. I’m a scientist now gone back to studying public health and I care deeply about patient empowerment.


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