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What you need to know before getting screened for breast cancer

MILWAUKEE -- The FDA recently proposed new rules that would require mammogram centers to tell women more about how dence breast cancer tissue can affect their health and increase cancer risk. Dr. Shadie Majidi with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin joins FOX6 WakeUp with the details.

What is the correlation between breast density and breast cancer?
First, having dense breasts is not an abnormal condition; in fact, about half of all women over 40 have dense breasts. We are still learning the exact relationship between breast density and breast cancer, but having dense breasts may increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

Why does denseness affect what we can and cannot see on a mammogram? 
On a mammogram, it is easier to detect an underlying cancer in women with fatty breasts and harder to detect an underlying cancer in women with dense breasts. This is because the dense normal tissue – which appears white on the mammogram – may hide an underlying cancer that also appears white on a mammogram.

What do you want to tell women who are concerned about this new information and if it impacts them?
We want to remind women that early detection -- monthly breast self exams, combined with regularly scheduled mammograms for women starting at age 40 and an exam by your provider at least once each year – can dramatically increase your chances of surviving breast cancer.
Talk to your doctor.

For more information, visit: Froedtert.com/breast-cancer

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