South Australian women will continue to learn their individual breast density, as a research study at BreastScreen SA moves into its next phase.
Over the past 6 months, BreastScreen SA has reported breast density measurements for clients screening at 3 selected clinics, inviting these clients to complete an online survey.
From 1 August 2022, clients screening at selected clinics – Arndale, Hyde Park and a mobile screening unit – will still receive their individual breast density information. However, clients will no longer be invited to participate in the survey.
BreastScreen SA Clinical Director, Associate Professor Michelle Reintals, expressed gratitude to the clients who had supported the research study to-date.
“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported this study, which we hope will help to shape future breast care in South Australia.”
“I want to thank all of our clients who have already completed the online survey on breast density. The survey remains open for clients who screened before the start of August.”
“As the results of the survey are finalised and evaluated, BreastScreen SA will continue reporting breast density information at our 3 participating clinics.”
BreastScreen SA anticipates that breast density reporting will continue at selected clinics until May 2024.
Breasts are made up of 2 main types of tissue – fatty and fibroglandular tissue – and while fat appears dark on a screening mammogram, glandular tissue appears ‘dense’ or white, as does breast cancer.
Higher breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer, and it can reduce the visibility of breast cancers on a mammogram.
BreastScreen Australia does not currently report on breast density across all states and territories, but supports greater research, discussion and public awareness of breast density.
BreastScreen SA provides free breast screens (breast X-rays) every 2 years to women over 40, primarily aged 50 to 74 years, with the aim of diagnosing breast cancer at an early stage, often before it can be felt.
More information about the research study is available here.