Density, mild disease increases risk of breast

OAK BROOK, Ill. – According to a large study published in the journal in Radiology.

Benign breast disease refers to noncancerous breast lumps, cysts, or nipple discharge. It is a common condition that can affect both women and men.

Research has shown that low breast density and benign breast disease are significant risk factors for breast cancer. Less is known about the combined impact of the two risk factors.

The new study investigated the risk of breast cancer associated with the combination of mammographic density and benign breast disease in 3.9 million Korean women. Mammography breast cancer screening is offered to all Korean women aged 40 or older, providing researchers with a large database to analyze.

During an average follow-up of more than 10 years, more than 58,000 women developed breast cancer. Of the women who developed breast cancer, 10,729, or 18.4%, had benign breast disease.

“Although these benign breast diseases are neither cancerous nor life-threatening, our results, together with evidence from previous findings, show that they may increase the risk of breast cancer,” said the study’s lead author. , Boyoung Park, MD, Ph.D., from the Department of Preventive Medicine at Hanyang University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea.

The risk of breast cancer was 3.2% in women with extremely dense breasts. This risk was significantly higher than the 1.36% risk in women with fatty breast tissue.

Together, the two risk factors increased the risk of breast cancer compared to women with non-dense breasts and those without benign breast disease.

The study was the largest to examine benign breast disease and breast density in East Asian women. Her findings suggest that women with dense breast tissue and a history of benign breast disease could benefit from a personalized screening regimen. Additional screening with MRI or ultrasound is often recommended for women at high risk for breast cancer.

“With current findings, we believe that women with dense breasts and the presence of benign breast disease would be potential targets for additional screening,” said co-author Soyeoun Kim, MPH, Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Park’s lab.

Screening frequency may also need to be adjusted in these women. Current recommendations vary from country to country. The American Cancer Society (ACS), for example, recommends annual screening for women starting at age 45, with the option to start at age 40. High-risk women should have mammograms and breast MRIs starting at age 30, according to ACS recommendations. .

Researchers are currently working on a larger project with the ultimate goal of developing a new breast cancer prediction model.

“We plan to develop a breast cancer prediction model that is more relevant to Asian women and includes new features that were not considered in previous prediction models, such as benign breast disease and breast density. detected on mammograms,” Dr. Park said.


“Breast breast density, benign breast disease, and subsequent breast cancer risk in 3.9 million Korean women.” Tran Thi Xuan Mai, Ph.D., Huiyeon Song, BS, Seungho Ryu, MD, Ph.D., and Yoosoo Chang, MD, Ph.D. collaborated with Soyeoun Kim and Dr. Park.

Radiology is edited by David A. Bluemke, MD, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (https://pubs.

The RSNA is an association of radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and healthcare delivery through education, research and technological innovation. The Company is based in Oak Brook, Illinois. (

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