Apparently I was lucky! Of course, to be diagnosed with cancer was a huge shock. However, what was clear was that without supplemental screening ultrasound, my tumour would not have been detected. Unfortunately, ultrasound is not offered in the national screening programme in the UK unless a woman presents symptoms. My next screening mammogram would have been 3 years on and the outcome would likely have been quite different.
Knowledge is Power
Immediately I began to research IDC. I needed to educate myself. As a retired teacher, I wanted to learn all about breast cancer. I was surprised and fascinated to discover the issue of dense breasts.
Why Does Breast Density Matter?
I discovered that breasts are made up of glandular and fatty tissue and whilst dense breasts are not abnormal, mammography is not as effective detecting cancers in women with highly dense breast tissue. On a mammogram image, dense tissue appears white, but so does cancer, almost like a fog. Cancers can go undetected and sometimes women are diagnosed later with interval cancers at a more advanced stage which require more treatment.
Why does the United States have Dense Breast "Inform" Laws? What I learned and why it matters
BreastScreen Australia conference debate "Breast density - Should we tell the women?"
InforMD - a new initiative to raise awareness about breast density
Breast density in screening, detection and incidence of breast cancer
The global breast density conversation: Meet one woman driving change in the United Kingdom
What to expect at a mammogram appointment