dr. going over mammogram with patient

Breast Density and Breast Cancer Risk

Originally presented on December 20, 2018

Michelle Azu, MD, FACS

Director of Breast Surgical Services and Associate Director of Breast Disease Management Team, New York-Presbyterian - Lawrence Hospital
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University

Ralph T. Wynn, MD
Director of Breast Imaging, Department of Radiology, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York-Presbyterian - Columbia University Medical Center

Dense breasts (or dense breast tissue) are very common. Under New York State law, women must be notified if their mammograms indicate they have dense breasts. This notification is important because dense breasts can make it harder to see signs of cancer on a mammogram. Women with dense breast tissue also have a higher risk of breast cancer as compared to women with less dense breast tissue. Women who receive this notification may seek guidance from their primary care provider or other health care practitioners. Yet many providers may lack expertise on the impact of breast density on breast cancer risk and follow-up screening recommendations. This webcast will provide an overview on these topics, and will address ways providers can identify how to calculate individual risk for breast cancer and how to communicate this information effectively to their patients. 

Learning Outcome
As a result of this activity, the learner will be able to enhance their knowledge and competence on how physicians, health care practitioners and others interacting with women who have dense breasts can best explain their risk for breast cancer.

Learning Objectives
After viewing the webcast, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how breast density impacts cancer risk status;
  • Identify appropriate ways to calculate individual risk status for breast cancer; and
  • Explain the screening recommendations and clinical management for women with dense breasts.

Target Audience
Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, community health workers/navigators and certified public health workers.

Continuing Education Credits expired for this activity on 12/31/2021.