Breast Density Knowledge in a Screening Mammography Population Exposed to Density Notification
Women are increasingly informed about their breast density due to state density reporting laws. However, accuracy of personal breast density knowledge remains unclear. We compared self-reported with clinically assessed breast density and assessed knowledge of density implications and feelings about future screening.
From December 2017 to January 2020, we surveyed women aged 40 to 74 years without prior breast cancer, with a normal screening mammogram in the prior year, and ≥1 recorded breast density measures in four Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium registries with density reporting laws. We measured agreement between self-reported and BI-RADS breast density categorized as “ever-dense” if heterogeneously or extremely dense within the past 5 years or “never-dense” otherwise, knowledge of dense breast implications, and feelings about future screening.
Survey participation was 28% (1,528 of 5,408), and 59% (896 of 1,528) of participants had ever-dense breasts. Concordance between self-report versus clinical density was 76% (677 of 896) among women with ever-dense breasts and 14% (89 of 632) among women with never-dense breasts, and 34% (217 of 632) with never-dense breasts reported being told they had dense breasts. Desire for supplemental screening was more frequent among those who reported having dense breasts 29% (256 of 893) or asked to imagine having dense breasts 30% (152 of 513) versus those reporting nondense breasts 15% (15 of 102) (P = .003, P = .002, respectively). Women with never-dense breasts had 6.3-fold higher odds (95% confidence interval:3.39-11.80) of accurate knowledge in states reporting density to all compared to states reporting only to women with dense breasts.
Standardized communications of breast density results to all women may increase density knowledge and are needed to support informed screening decisions.