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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2003 Dec 4;123(23):3373-6.

[Mammographic density as indicator of breast cancer risk].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Institutt for ernaeringsforskning, Universitetet i Oslo, Postboks 1046 Blindern, 0316 Oslo.



Mammograms are useful in identifying early breast cancers before they become palpable, but they can also give us information about mammographic density, a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Mammographic density has been suggested as a biomarker for breast cancer risk and is currently being used as a surrogate endpoint for breast cancer in several cancer prevention trials.


This article summarises the rationale for using mammographic density as a surrogate endpoint for breast cancer, with an emphasis on the results that have been published over the last decade.


Mammographic density not only represents a strong risk factor for breast cancer, it is also modifiable. Mammograms are non-invasive and mammographic density is readily assessed using computer-assisted methods.


The ultimate question that remains to be answered is whether a change in mammographic density translates to a change in breast cancer risk. This question could easily be addressed in the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Programme if participants were asked the necessary questions when attending the screening programme.

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