Breast Density Linked to Cancer Risk

WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) — Women who had a decrease in breast density over several years were linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer, U.S. researchers said.

Celine Vachon, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said the study involved 19,924 women who were free of breast cancer and were screened for mammograms from 2003 to 2006.

From this group, the researchers selected study participants who had at least one additional screening mammogram prior to enrollment.

The researchers found in the women whose breasts decreased in density — the proportion of fibroglandular tissue depicted on the mammogram image — had a 28 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer.

“Replication of these findings in other studies will be important,” Vachon said in a statement. “Also, improved and standardized measurements of breast density are needed for the assessment of changes in density.”

The findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st annual meeting 2010 in Washington.

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