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Breast Density Awareness | World Dense Breast Day

Breast Density Breast Examination Breast Cancer screening

World Dense Breast Day Wednesday 28th September

The first ever World Dense Breast Day is happening this Wednesday 28th September 2022 to promote awareness and education on breast density.

Dr Rebecca Hayes will be hosting an informal event at aprilmae fashion boutique – 12 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, W4 2HD – from 11am to 1pm – discussing breast cancer screenings and breast density, she will also be giving away 50 beautiful dahlia bouquets (from her own garden) as a thank you for attending and supporting World Dense Breast Day.

Dr Rebecca Hayes is a GP working in both the NHS and private sector here at Prime Health Partners. She has a special interest in women’s health and breast density.

She is very aware how important breast cancer screenings are and is dedicated to empowering women to have options and knowledge about the accuracy of the screening tools we use.

Through her own experiences Dr Hayes has developed her passion for breast density awareness – below she shares her personal journey and expert opinions.

My Own Journey

My own journey into discovering breast density started about 4 years ago when I discovered a breast lump and had to be investigated. Fortunately, it was benign but when I was discussing my mammogram with the breast surgeon, I didn’t understand what he meant by breast density.

I was embarrassed I hadn’t even heard of the term, as an experience GP and as GP who was ordering mammograms for patient’s private medicals.

I started to learn more about breast density, read up about it, took learning modules and then I discovered the DenseBreast-info website.

The resources and information leaflets are fantastic, and I urge all health care professionals and patients to look at this website. Everything is medically checked and researched.

Breast density is an independent risk factor for developing breast cancer and dense breasts decrease the sensitivity of mammogram for screening.

Current Recommendations

In March 2022, the European Society of Breast Imaging (EUSOBI) published new recommendations that EU women should be ‘informed’ about their breast density and supplemental screening is recommended for women with extremely dense breasts.

Sadly, breast density is not currently, formally reported on NHS mammograms. I find this frustrating as an NHS GP and I hope this will change soon.

At Prime Health Partners I offer a discussion about breast density with my patients and let the patient decide if they want to have their breast density formally interpreted or not.

 

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What is breast density?

Your breasts are made up of various fatty tissue, glandular and fibrous tissues.

The more glandular and fibrous the breast tissues the more dense it is.

This is all normal make up of a breast.

The younger you are the most dense your breast tends to be, and it is likely the density will decrease as you get older but for some women then remain dense.

Density is only seen on mammogram, which is basically an x-ray of the breast and how much light penetrates the breast produces the image.

Depending on the type of tissue will depend on the clarity of the image.

There are 4 classes

A: Fatty

B: Scattered fibroglandular

C: Heterogeneously dense

D: Extremely dense

Dense tissue appears white on a mammogram and breast cancer also appears white therefore it can make it more difficult to see or obscure the cancer.

If you would like to find out more about breast density – head down to Dr Hayes’ first ever World Dense Breast Day event at aprilmae on Wednesday 28th September between 11am – 1pm or if you would like to take a more in depth look at your breast density you can enquire about a breast examination at Prime Health Partners.

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