Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000 Sep;9(9):917-21.

Effect of tamoxifen on mammographic density.

Author information

Diagnostic Radiology Department, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda Maryland 20892-1182, USA.


There are strong data showing that increased breast cancer risk is associated with increased mammographic density. Tamoxifen has been shown to decrease the risk of invasive breast cancer and decrease breast density. We sought to demonstrate and calculate the extent of change in mammographic density in women who have taken tamoxifen for up to 2 years. We evaluated mammograms from 28 high-risk women who were taking tamoxifen. Four different methods of evaluation were used: (a) two qualitative methods (Wolfe criteria and the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging and Reporting Data System criteria); (b) one semiquantitative method (mammograms were assigned one of five semiquantitative scores by visual inspection); and (c) one quantitative method (computer-aided calculation of fibroglandular area from digitized mammograms). The Wolfe criteria showed a 0.03 category decrease per year (P = 0.50). The American College of Radiology Breast Imaging and Reporting Data System criteria showed a 0.1 category decrease per year (P = 0.12). Semiquantitative criteria showed a 0.2 category decrease per year (P = 0.039). Digitized scores showed a 4.3% decrease per year (P = 0.0007). In conclusion, tamoxifen causes a decrease in mammographic density with use, an effect that is better quantitated with semiquantitative criteria or digitized images. Density change might become useful as a surrogate end point for the effect of tamoxifen and other chemopreventive measures, although our data do not predict an individual's degree of risk reduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center