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Ann Intern Med. 2015 May 19;162(10):673-81. doi: 10.7326/M14-1465.

Identifying women with dense breasts at high risk for interval cancer: a cohort study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Twenty-one states have laws requiring that women be notified if they have dense breasts and that they be advised to discuss supplemental imaging with their provider.

OBJECTIVE:

To better direct discussions of supplemental imaging by determining which combinations of breast cancer risk and Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) breast density categories are associated with high interval cancer rates.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort.

SETTING:

Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) breast imaging facilities.

PATIENTS:

365,426 women aged 40 to 74 years who had 831,455 digital screening mammography examinations.

MEASUREMENTS:

BI-RADS breast density, BCSC 5-year breast cancer risk, and interval cancer rate (invasive cancer ≤12 months after a normal mammography result) per 1000 mammography examinations. High interval cancer rate was defined as more than 1 case per 1000 examinations.

RESULTS:

High interval cancer rates were observed for women with 5-year risk of 1.67% or greater and extremely dense breasts or 5-year risk of 2.50% or greater and heterogeneously dense breasts (24% of all women with dense breasts). The interval rate of advanced-stage disease was highest (>0.4 case per 1000 examinations) among women with 5-year risk of 2.50% or greater and heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts (21% of all women with dense breasts). Five-year risk was low to average (0% to 1.66%) for 51.0% of women with heterogeneously dense breasts and 52.5% with extremely dense breasts, with interval cancer rates of 0.58 to 0.63 and 0.72 to 0.89 case per 1000 examinations, respectively.

LIMITATION:

The benefit of supplemental imaging was not assessed.

CONCLUSION:

Breast density should not be the sole criterion for deciding whether supplemental imaging is justified because not all women with dense breasts have high interval cancer rates. BCSC 5-year risk combined with BI-RADS breast density can identify women at high risk for interval cancer to inform patient-provider discussions about alternative screening strategies.

PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE:

National Cancer Institute.

PMID:
25984843
PMCID:
PMC4443857
DOI:
10.7326/M14-1465
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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