Study: High Breast Density Increases Risk for Cancer Recurrence
Reported November 10, 2009
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Women with dense breasts may be at a greater risk for cancer recurrence, increasing their odds by up to 40 percent.
Previous studies have connected dense breast tissue with a return of cancer, but a new study leads researchers to believe that high-breast density can also increase the risk after lumpectomy. Over ten years, women in the highest density category had a 21 percent chance of recurrence, compared with five percent of women in the lowest category. For women who did not receive radiation, the 40 percent of women in the high category had cancer recurrence, compared with zero of the women with low density.
The composition of the breast tissue surrounding the breast cancer is important in predicting whether or not a breast cancer will return after surgery, Steven A. Narod, M.D., of the Womens College Research Institute in Toronto, was quoted as saying.
Researchers point out the importance that women with high-dense tissue receive radiation, while it is less urgent for low-dense women to receive such treatment.
The study analyzed the medical records of 335 patients who had a lumpectomy procedure for a previous breast cancer. The high-dense category was defined as above 50 percent dense tissue, intermediate between 25 and 50 percent, and the low category included women with below 25 percent dense tissue.
SOURCE: Cancer, December 15, 2009