Notify Canadian Women Of Their Breast Density and Associated Breast Cancer Risk

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Dense breasts increase the risk of breast cancer and increase the risk a cancer will be masked on a mammogram. Shouldn't women know? 

Many women in Canada are not told their category of breast density following a screening mammogram. Knowing and understanding your breast density can be life-saving. About 43% of women between the ages of 40 and 74 have dense breasts. Having dense breasts is normal; however, dense breasts pose a double whammy:

1. Women with dense breasts are at an increased risk of breast cancer. This risk is higher than having a family history of breast cancer.

2. Dense breast tissue can hide cancer on a mammogram. This is because both dense breast tissue and cancer appear white. It’s like trying to find a snowball in a snowstorm. In fact, women with dense breasts who receive an all clear mammogram may still have an undetected cancer. This means cancers are not detected until a later stage.

All Canadian women deserve the opportunity for an early stage diagnosis.

Dense Breasts Canada is hearing too many “Had I Known” stories from women who were never told they had dense breasts, never told it could hide cancer and elevate risk, and are now battling late-stage breast cancer.

Women should be informed of their breast density so they can make informed decisions about their health care. Women with dense breasts should have the chance to make lifestyle changes to reduce cancer risk, practice self-exams between screenings and seek additional screening (e.g. ultrasound). Additional screening can increase detection of early stage breast cancer.

5000 Canadian women will die this year from breast cancer. Some lives can be saved if women are told their breast density and given the information to be proactive about their health.

Please sign and share this petition calling on health ministers to provide Canadian women information about their breast density and its associated risks so they can be proactive about their own breast health.

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