Importance of Mammograms

Question: Should my patients who receive this letter and have dense breasts continue to get mammograms?

Answer: Yes. Mammography is the only screening tool that has been demonstrated through large randomized trials to lower breast cancer mortality. Those trials included all breast densities. While mammography sensitivity is somewhat lower in women with extremely dense breasts, it is still the best modality for population-based screening. Also, mammography is the only test that can reliably detect suspicious calcifications. Such calcifications are often the first sign of in-situ cancers, which (in 20% of cases) coexist with otherwise invisible invasive cancers.