Mammographic Breast Density and Breast Cancer Risk: Implications of the Breast Density Legislation for Health Care Practitioners

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Jun;59(2):419-38. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000192.


Breast density has emerged as a critical phenotypic marker of increased breast cancer risk. The breast density legislation, passed in multiple states, requires patient notification of the implications of the breast density on breast cancer risk and screening. Supplemental screening may be suggested in the state regulation; however, there are limited data to guide conversations with patients. This article will review the current state of supplemental screening in women with dense breasts and discuss theories of the mechanism of action. Guidance is provided to assist in shared decision making and appropriate patient counseling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Density* / physiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Legislation as Topic*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mammography* / methods
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Risk Factors
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Ultrasonography


  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi