After Law Enables Adjunctive Breast Density Screening, Researchers Find More Cancers

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One year into the implementation of the Connecticut law that provides additional information to dense-breasted women about their risk for breast cancer, a study published in the journal Radiology looked into the benefits of adjunctive screening for such patients.

Of 935 dense-breasted women identified and informed under the law from 2009-2010, more than one-quarter were determined to be at either high or intermediate risk for breast cancer after additional imaging, and 75.0 percent were classified as BI-RADS category 1 or 2. Fewer than five percent of women had false-positive examination results, and the overall cancer detection rate was 3.2 cancers per 1000 women screened.

Although the positive predictive value of the adjunctive examinations was determined to be “low” overall, according to researchers, they said the law aided in the detection of “small mammographically occult breast cancers.”