Survey: BreastScreen Australia’s Position Statement on Breast Density

12 Jun 2018 by Krystal Barter

Density is gradually becoming a more prevalent topic in today’s media, and this momentum could lead to life-saving changes for so many women. Here’s how you can help. The Australian Department of Health is considering whether BreastScreen Australia’s Position Statement on Breast Density needs to be changed.

 

 A quick recap (what is density and why is it important):

Breasts are made up of three types of tissue – fatty, fibrous and glandular tissue. Every woman is unique and has a different amount of these three types of tissue. A person with dense breasts (on a mammogram) has less fatty tissue and more glandular and fibrous tissue.Women with dense breasts (on mammogram) have a four to five times increased risk of breast cancer, compared with women with low breast density. There is also an increased risk of breast cancer not being detected by a standard mammogram in women with dense breasts.

 

Regardless of the above information, currently, women who participate in BreastScreen are not routinely told about their breast density. However, the exception is the WA BreastScreen Program, which sends a letter to the woman and her GP if the woman is assessed as having very dense breasts. This informs and ensures that the woman is aware that it is more difficult to see abnormal changes on a mammogram, including early signs of breast cancer.

More scientific research is needed to help health professionals understand how women with extremely dense breasts can best be screened and/or manage their breast cancer risk. Many women argue that they want to be told.

 Read Jane’s breast density story

The crucial inclusion of how dense a woman’s breasts are when she goes for a screening could save her life. At Pink Hope, we believe that breast density is not a “one size fits all” approach. With breast density only detectible on a mammogram, it is up to healthcare providers to make sure that a patient has all information presented in order to make the most informed decisions regarding her personal health.

Giving her knowledge, will additionally give her the appropriate decision-making power.

 

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BSApositionstatementonbreastdensity

*Please read our tips below before taking the survey*

For more information on breast density, visit our density hub www.bedenseaware.com

Tips on Taking the Survey

Some of the survey questions have been written in a complicated way. Here’s some helpful tips before you begin taking the survey.

Please read BreastScreen Australia’s Position Statement on Breast Density before you take the survey. The survey asks if you have read the Statement and you cannot proceed with the survey if you answer ‘no’.

Question 6 of the survey asks what ‘evidence-based’ changes you would like to see to the position statement and asks you to provide ‘citations’ (e.g. journal articles). Please don’t be put off by the language in this question. BCNA has provided feedback to Allen + Clarke that women’s views are important and should not need to be ‘evidence-based’.

We encourage you to share your views about breast density in the open-text boxes at either question 6 or question 7 and not to be concerned with the way question 6 has been asked.

You can skip questions (i.e. leave them blank), but please make sure that you click through to the end of the survey and click ‘submit

 

 

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