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Dense Breast May Not Lead To Breast Cancer

Update Date: Dec 15, 2015 09:27 AM EST

It is not only the density of the breast that makes it contract cancer. Age and body fat can be the main cause of the health problem, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Researchers arrive at the conclusion that women with dense breast tissues are exposed to the risk. Yet, older women, especially those who have upper belly fat, are exposed at a greater risk.

"Many studies that link breast density to breast cancer risk used data from mammograms, which can't accurately measure breast density," Wenlian Zhu, Ph.D., a research associate in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was quoted in a news release. "Our research may help dispel the assertion that breast density alone is something women should be worried about with regard to their breast cancer risk, and it may help minimize confusion and unnecessary concern."

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had said the opposite---that dense breasts make you more prone to contract breast cancer. Being dense, breasts would have less fatty tissue and more non-fatty tissue compared to breasts that are not dense, according to BreastCancer.org.

The density of breasts can be assessed through a mammogram and other examinations.

The focus of the study was to determine if breast density played an important role or not in breast cancer. Researchers investigated 3-D, T1-weighted MRI breast scans between 2007 and 2014 on 410 patients.

One breast showed invasive cancer, while 73 patients exhibited ductal carcinoma in situ, which is spotted to be the most common type. About 361 women did not show any evidence of it.

Hence, the imaging technique they used displayed a lot of difference between fatty and dense glandular breast tissues.

The study was published in the journal European Radiology.

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