31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 2 — Dense Breast Tissue

Did you know…

“Between 30% and 50% of cancers identified in women who undergo screening mammography are not detected by mammography.” – Dr. Christiane Kuhl, University of Aachen, Germany.

Sadly Nancy Cappello’s invasive cancer was missed by mammograms. She founded a nonprofit organization, Are You Dense, to alert women about dense breast tissue masking invasive breast cancers on mammography. Watch this video where she discusses her false negative “Happygram” with Joan Lunden:

Dense breast tissue is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.

Five more facts about dense breast tissue

  • 40% of women have dense breast tissue.
  • Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue. 
  • Mammography misses every other cancer in dense breasts.
  • Breast density is a well-established predictor of breast cancer risk.
  • High breast density is a greater risk factor than having two first degree relatives with breast cancer.

Sources: Are You Dense? ; Are You Dense? Advocacy

Thank you Nancy Capello for your groundbreaking work.

You can read about alternative imaging for women with dense breast tissue here:

Bye-Bye Mammograms: Hello SonoCiné Ultrasound

About Donna Pinto

I am originally from New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles with my family at age 12. After graduating from San Diego State University with a BA in Journalism, I had a short-stint in magazine advertising sales before landing my "dream job" with Club Med. For two years I worked at resorts in Mexico, The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic and Colorado. My husband Glenn & I met in Ixtapa, Mexico and we embarked on a two year honeymoon around the world. This was also a research project for a book we wrote called "When The Travel Bug Bites: Creative Ways to Earn, Save and Stay Abroad." I am also the author of a quote book for new graduates -- "Cheatnotes on Life: Lessons From The Classroom of Life." In 1997, we settled in San Diego and I was blessed to work part-time from home for non-profit organizations while raising our two boys. In 2010, a DCIS diagnosis changed my life. DCIS 411 is the culmination of my on-going journey and discoveries.
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