Dense Breasts Canada (DBC) is a non profit organization made up of breast cancer survivors and health care professionals dedicated to raising awareness about the risks associated with dense breasts.
Dense breasts are normal and common. 40% of women over age 40 have dense breasts.
Dense breasts make it harder for radiologists viewing your mammogram to spot cancer because dense breast tissue shows up as white and so does a cancerous tumour.
Mammograms are a highly effective tool for women with fatty breasts, but mammograms alone are not enough for women with dense breast tissue. If you have dense breasts, you may want to discuss additional screening, such as ultrasound with your doctor.
OUR GOALS: AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY
1. To increase awareness among women and family doctors of the risks and screening challenges associated with dense breasts.
2. To convince provincial governments to report breast density to family doctors and share the information with patients.
3. To convince provincial governments to provide ultrasounds for women with the highest category of density.
WHY WE’RE SEEKING CHANGE
Most women do not know their breast density. Over 3 million women in Canada, over age of 40, have dense breasts. DBC wants to educate women about the importance of knowing their breast density.
Why breast density matters:
1. Women with dense breasts have a higher chance of developing breast cancer: Dense breasts are an independent risk factor for cancer. Women with the densest breasts are 4-6 times more likely to get cancer. Studies show that having dense breasts is an even more significant risk factor than having a family history of breast cancer.
2. Mammograms are very important but they are NOT enough for women with dense breasts. Mammography can miss up to 50% of the breast cancers in the highest category of density. Women with dense breasts can benefit from additional screening. The use of ultrasound, in addition to mammography, can decrease the number of missed or delayed cancer diagnoses.