Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
AMPRONIX
TERARECON, INC.
SCHILLER AG

Breast Cancer Risk Linked to Breast Density Alterations as Women Age

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 01 Jan 2014
Image: Fatty breast tissue (Photo courtesy of RSNA).
Image: Fatty breast tissue (Photo courtesy of RSNA).
Image: Scattered density breast tissue (Photo courtesy of RSNA).
Image: Scattered density breast tissue (Photo courtesy of RSNA).
Image: Extremely dense breast tissue (Photo courtesy of RSNA).
Image: Extremely dense breast tissue (Photo courtesy of RSNA).
Automated breast density measurement is predictive of breast cancer risk in younger women, and that risk may be associated with the rate at which breast density changes in some women as they age, according to recent research.

The findings were presented December 3, 2013, at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), held in Chicago (IL, USA). Breast density, as determined by mammography, has been known to be a strong and independent risk factor for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) considers women with very dense breasts to be at moderately increased risk of cancer, and recommends they talk to their physicians about adding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning to their annual mammograms.

“Women under age 50 are most at risk from density-associated breast cancer, and breast cancer in younger women is frequently of a more aggressive type, with larger tumors and a higher risk of recurrence,” said the study’s senior author, Nicholas Perry, MBBS, FRCS, FRCR, director of the London Breast Institute (London, UK).

Dr. Perry and colleagues, for the new study, compared breast density and cancer risk between younger and older women and analyzed how the risk relates to changes in breast density over time. The study group included 282 breast cancer cases and 317 healthy control study participants who underwent full-field digital mammography (FFDM), with breast density measured separately using an automated volumetric system.

“In general, we refer to breast density as being determined by mammographic appearance, and that has, by and large, in the past been done by visual estimation by the radiologist—in other words, subjective and qualitative,” Dr. Perry said. “The automated system we used in the study is an algorithm that can be automatically and easily applied to a digital mammogram, which allows an objective and, therefore, quantitative density measurement that is reproducible.”

Breast cancer patients showed higher mammographic density than healthy participants up to the age of 50. The healthy controls demonstrated a significant decline in density with age following a linear pattern, while there was considerably more variability in density regression among the breast cancer patients. “The results are interesting, because there would appear to be some form of different biological density mechanism for normal breasts compared to breasts with cancer, and this appears to be most obvious for younger women,” Dr. Perry said. “This is not likely to diminish the current ACS guidelines in any way, but it might add a new facet regarding the possibility of an early mammogram to establish an obvious risk factor, which may then lead to enhanced screening for those women with the densest breasts.”

Some women, for example, might undergo a modified exposure exam at age 35 to establish breast density levels, Dr. Perry noted. Those with denser breast tissue could then be followed more closely with mammography and additional imaging such as an MRI scan or ultrasound for earlier cancer detection and treatment.

“It has been estimated that about 40% of life years lost to breast cancer are from women under 50 diagnosed outside of screening programs,” Dr. Perry concluded. “In my practice, which is largely composed of urban professional women, 40% of cancers year to year are diagnosed in women under 50, and 10% in women younger than 40.”

Related Links:

London Breast Institute



RTI ELECTRONICS AB
SuperSonic Imagine
RADCAL

Channels

Ultrasound

view channel
Image: Siemens Healthcare has launched the HELX Evolution, the newest iteration of its Acuson S range of ultrasound imaging systems (Photo courtesy of Siemens Healthcare).

Ultrasound Imaging System Enhancements Include High Definition Transducers, Sophisticated Elastography, and Tissue Strain Analysis

New features designed for a range of ultrasound systems include enhanced image quality with a large 21.5-inch liquid crystal diode (LCD) monitor, high definition (HD) transducers, optimized contrast agent... Read more

Nuclear medicine

view channel
Image: Sagittal section of brain PET image at four hours after 64CuCl2 injection with disulfiram or D-penicillamine in MD model mice (Photo courtesy of the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies).

PET Imaging Used to Assess Effectiveness of Menkes Disease Treatments

Japanese scientists are using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to visualize the distribution of copper in the body using lab mice. Copper distribution is deregulated in a genetic disorder called... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel

Secondary Light Emission Generated by Plasmonic Nanostructures May Improve Medical Imaging Technology

New clues into light emission at different wavelengths generated by elements known plasmonic nanostructures may help to improve medical imaging technology. A plasmon is a quantum of plasma oscillation. The plasmon is a quasiparticle resulting from the quantization of plasma oscillations just as photons, and phonons are... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel

Software Designed for the Assessment of Orthopedic Implant Fixation and Bone Segment Motion

Model-based roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis (MBRSA) software has been developed for evaluation of orthopedic implant fixation and bone segment motion. The software is the first to measure the in vivo three-dimensional (3D) position and/or relative motion of metal implants, markers beads, and/or bone segments in... Read more

Industry News

view channel

Collaboration Expands Capacity for Proton Therapy Clinical Research and Patient Treatments

Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, CA, USA) and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI; Villigen PSI, Switzerland) are extending an existing collaboration in the field of proton therapy to offer patients more accurate cancer treatments using intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT). Under the agreement, Varian will also... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.