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Can Mammographic Assessments Lead to Consider Density as a Risk Factor for Breast Cancer?

Catherine Colin 1, * Violaine Prince 2 Pierre-Jean Valette 1
* Corresponding author
2 TEXTE - Exploration et exploitation de données textuelles
LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
Abstract : Admitting that mammographic breast density is an important independent risk factor for breast cancer in the general population, has a crucial economical health care impact, since it might lead to increasing screening frequency or reinforcing additional modalities. Thus, the impact of density as a risk factor has to be carefully investigated and might be debated. Some authors suggested that high density would be either a weak factor or confused with a masking effect. Others concluded that most of the studies have methodological biases in basic physics to quantify percentage of breast density, as well as in mammo- graphic acquisition parameters. The purpose of this review is to evaluate mammographic procedures and density assessments in published studies regarding density as a breast cancer risk. No standardiza- tion was found in breast density assessments and compared density categories. High density definitions varied widely from 25 to 75% of dense tissues on mammograms. Some studies showed an insufficient follow-up to reveal masking effect related to mammographic false negatives. Evaluating breast density impact needs thorough studies with consensual mammographic procedures, methods of density mea- surement, breast density classification as well as a standardized definition of high breast density. Digital mammography, more effective in dense breasts, should help to re-evaluate the issue of density as a risk factor for breast cancer.
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Contributor : Violaine Prince-Barbier <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 18, 2013 - 4:26:05 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 3:12:02 PM




Catherine Colin, Violaine Prince, Pierre-Jean Valette. Can Mammographic Assessments Lead to Consider Density as a Risk Factor for Breast Cancer?. European Journal of Radiology, Elsevier, 2013, 82, pp.404-411. ⟨10.1016/j.ejrad.2010.01.001⟩. ⟨lirmm-00789705⟩



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