For the first time in two decades The Food and Drug Administration has just proposed new mammogram guidelines and all women should be aware of the new recommendations.

Mammograms aren’t exactly something women look forward to, but they are important and necessary to protecting your health. However, the FDA believes that one important factor in breast cancer screenings hasn’t received enough attention until now. Based on research by the the National Cancer Institute, breast density can a be a major factor in developing breast cancer, but only 36 percent of women surveyed by Hologic, Inc. say they have ever discussed the term with their doctors.

For the uninitiated, breast density refers to the amount amount of glandular tissue and connective tissue in relation to the amount of fatty breast tissue. The higher the amount of glandular tissue and connective tissue the denser breasts are.

The FDA’s new guidelines propose a standard density assessment to be included in mammogram summary letters and patient records. It would also establish nationwide density categories, which right now vary from state to state.

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No word yet on when these new mammogram guidelines will go into effect, but in the mean time women can and should bring up the subject of breast density with doctors at their annual exams.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: DarkoStojanovic via Pixabay

 

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