Many women unaware of connection between breast density and cancer risk, researchers say
BOSTON – Having dense breasts can increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer - but many women may not be aware.
There are laws in Massachusetts and other states requiring women be notified if they have dense breasts, because we know that women with dense breasts are at a 1.2-4 times higher risk of developing breast cancer.
So researchers at Dartmouth College and Boston University and others asked more than 1,800 women about the relative importance of risk factors for breast cancer such as family history, obesity, alcohol intake, and breast density and found few women recognized breast density as a strong risk factor.
Providers may need to better educate women on all of the risk factors for breast cancer and explain what they can do to reduce that risk like exercise, limit alcohol intake, and get screened more often.
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