Breast Density and Screening Breast Ultrasound

Relevant References for Referring Physicians

Breast density has emerged as a significant risk factor for breast cancer. There is growing evidence that mammography alone is not sufficient to detect small cancers in many patients with dense breast tissue. Legislation has passed in California, Connecticut, New York, Texas, and Virginia mandating that all women undergoing screening mammography be informed of their breast density. This legislation also requires that women with dense breasts be informed about the limitations of mammography and the option of supplemental screening technologies (such as breast MRI screening and screening breast ultrasound). Similar legislation is under consideration in a dozen other states and in Congress.

Based on the growing body of evidence that mammography alone is not sufficient to detect small cancers in many patients with dense breasts, Invision Sally Jobe will begin implementing a program to notify our patients of their breast density. Details about this new process, as well as relevant references for referring physicians are listed below.

As always, we welcome questions and comments from you and your patients. You may contact Dr. Lora Barke (Medical Director, Invision Sally Jobe Breast Network) at (720) 493-3220 or Mary Freivogel, our Certified Genetic Counselor and Manager of Patient Risk Assessment and Prevention, at (720) 493-3229.

  1. Breast Density and Recommendations from Invision Sally Jobe: Frequently Asked Questions for Referring Physicians
  2. Comprehensive Breast Cancer Screening (A flow chart detailing Invision Sally Jobe’s process for stratifying a patient’s risk for breast cancer)
  3. Breast Density: Breast Cancer Screening (A patient brochure from the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging)
  4. Dense Breast Tissue: Supplemental Imaging (An article from Imaging Technology News, November/December 2012)
  5. Mammographic Breast Density – What It Means (An article from Imaging Technology News, June 2012)
  6. Combined screening with ultrasound and mammography vs. mammography alone in women at elevated risk of breast cancer. JAMA 2008;299(18):2151-2163.
  7. Detection of breast cancer with addition of annual screening ultrasound or a single screening MRI to mammography in women with elevated breast cancer risk. JAMA 2012;307(13):1394-1404.
  8. Breast Density and Supplemental Screening Breast Ultrasound: Frequently Asked Questions (provided by Gerald R. Kolb, Volpara Density, March 2013)