Mammographic Density: Intersection of Advocacy, Science, and Clinical Practice
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Purpose of Review
Here we aim to review the association between mammographic density, collagen structure, and breast cancer risk.
While mammographic density is a strong predictor of breast cancer risk in populations, studies by Boyd show that mammographic density does not predict breast cancer risk in individuals. Mammographic density is affected by age, parity, menopausal status, race/ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI). New studies normalize mammographic density to BMI and this may provide a more accurate way to compare mammographic density in women of diverse race and ethnicity. Preclinical and tissue-based studies have investigated the role collagen composition and structure in predicting breast cancer risk. There is emerging evidence that collagen structure may activate signaling pathways associated with aggressive breast cancer biology.
Measurement of film mammographic density does not adequately capture the complex signaling that occurs in women with at-risk collagen. New ways to measure at-risk collagen potentially can provide a more accurate view of risk.
KeywordsMammographic density Breast cancer risk Mammographic density notification Collagen Tissue tensile forces TACS
This work was financially supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI) grants R01CA155664, R01CA158668, R01CA170851, R01CA192914, and U01CA189283 (all to VLS) and P30CA033572.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
The funders had no role in the manuscript design, data analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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