Integration of Breast Density in Breast Cancer Screening and Risk Assessment

Presenter: Parisa Tehranifar, DrPH, MPHpt140_Parisa Tehranifar_pt140_1

Assistant Professor

Department of Epidemiology

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Date: March 7, 2017


Breast density is the comparison of fatty tissue to fibrous tissue on a mammogram. Among women with dense breasts, it may be more difficult to detect breast tumors with a mammogram alone. Additionally, women with dense breasts may be at an increased risk of breast cancer. To improve screening of breast cancer, public health practitioners and other health professionals need to consider how breast density should be integrated into breast cancer risk assessment. In this webinar, Dr. Parisa Tehranifar discusses current challenges associated with integrating breast density into breast cancer screening such as the accuracy of breast density visual assessment, knowing when to order supplemental breast cancer screening, and social disparities associated with awareness of breast density screening.

Reflection Questions

  • What is breast density and what is its relationship to breast cancer risk and detection?
  • What are some approaches used to integrate breast density in breast cancer screening and risk assessment?
  • How could the disclosure of personal breast density results affect breast cancer disparities?

Council on Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (2014 Version)

  • Primary Competency Domain: Policy Development/Program Planning Skills
  • Specific competencies: 1A10, 1A14, 1B10, 1B14, 1B15, 1C10, 1C14, 1C15, 2A6, 2A7, 2B8, 3A1, 4A3, 4A4, 4A6, 4B3, 4C3, 5A2, 6A6

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