The assessment of breast density is not reliably reproducible. – ACR, January 2013
Breast density (the percentage of fibroglandular tissue in the breast) is correlated to both the risk of missing a cancer and the risk of developing a cancer. As a volumetric phenomenon, it should be assessed as such and this is the key technology underpinning the Volpara Solutions product range.
Radiologists can guestimate the percentage of breast tissue that is dense, but they are still using 2D information to assess a 3D phenomenon, and they cannot possibly be accurate in any absolute sense. – Prof Dan Kopans, Radiology, v246, #2, Feb 2008
VolparaDensity is FDA cleared to provide both volumetric breast density measurements and a BI-RADS breast density category from most digital mammography vendors. It is easy to implement clinically, able to provide a density score whilst the woman is still present, and helps increase consistency and compliance with state laws whilst improving productivity and workflow. VolparaDensity is widely used globally and has many happy users.
Volpara has been validated extensively and is installed at hundreds of sites worldwide having analyzed well over 1.5 million women.
Importance of Density
It is estimated that over 40 percent of women in the US who are of mammogram screening age have dense breast tissue. The volume and distribution of this dense breast tissue plays a major role in the sensitivity of screening mammography as well as the individual patient’s risk of developing breast cancer:
- Mammography is estimated to be only 48% effective in dense breasts, compared to 98% effective in fatty breasts (DMIST trial).
- Women with extremely dense breasts are twice as likely to develop breast cancer as an average density woman.
- The risk associated with extremely dense breasts is similar to the risk associated with a family history of breast cancer in a mother, sister, or daughter.
Volpara assesses breast composition at each pixel by calculating the x-ray attenuation between that pixel and the x-ray source and from that working out what kind of tissues must have been present. Volumetric breast density and visual assessment are strongly correlated, but the following examples show the benefits of a volumetric approach especially for focal lesions. The top figures here are side on views of a breast under compression, and the bottom views are the corresponding mammograms with their visual and volumetric breast density assessments.
For more information on breast density and Volpara you can visit www.volparasolutions.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .