40% of women getting mammograms have cancer-hiding dense breasts and don’t know it. According to my Doctor, all women should have sonograms on their breasts in addition to mammograms’ – but many times – insurance just won’t cover it.
To spread awareness and help save lives, Dense Breast Education site DenseBreast-info is sponsoring World Dense Breast Day on September 27th, a 24-hour social media campaign in English and Spanish calling on all medical professionals and the general public to participate by sharing educational posts about dense breasts using the hashtag #WorldDenseBreastDay. This initiative follows the introduction of a new FDA reporting standard that will go into effect Sept 2024, which will require that all women getting mammograms be told if they have dense breasts so they can self advocate for a breast sonogram.
Until now, that key piece of life-saving information has not been shared with all women getting mammograms…whether or not they have dense breasts. Dense breasts hide cancer and yet many of the 40% of women with them don’t know that cancer may be hiding even if their mammogram is reported as “normal.” Other countries are following suit as well, with the European Society of Breast Imaging now recommending that European women also be informed about their breast density.
“It’s critical that we get ahead of the game now, because beginning next September, women hearing about breast density for the first time will need to know about additional imaging options after their mammogram,” says Dr. Wendie Berg, Professor of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Chief Scientific Advisor, Dense Breast Info.
“I thought I was doing everything right, but a key piece of information was not being shared with me,” said JoAnn Pushkin, Executive Director, DenseBreast-info. “I had dense breasts. So, mammograms missed my cancer year after year because it was hidden in dense tissue. When I finally felt a lump, it was no longer early stage. #WorldDenseBreastDay will give women the information I did not have. Additional screening after my mammogram could have found my cancer earlier. And as we know, finding it early matters. It can mean the difference between life and death.”