Importance of Mammograms

Patients with Dense Breasts Should Continue to Get Recommended Mammograms

Patients who receive a letter informing them that they have dense breast tissue should continue to get their recommended annual mammogram. Mammography is the only screening tool that has been demonstrated through large randomized trials to lower breast cancer mortality. Those trials included all breast densities. While mammography sensitivity is somewhat lower in women with extremely dense breasts, it is still the best modality for population-based screening. Also, mammography is the only test that can reliably detect suspicious calcifications. Such calcifications are often the first sign of in-situ cancers, which in 20 percent of cases coexist with otherwise invisible invasive cancers.