Role of breast density measurement in screening for breast cancer

Climacteric. 2018 Jun;21(3):214-220. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2018.1424816. Epub 2018 Feb 15.


Mammographic breast density is an established risk factor for breast cancer and significantly reduces the sensitivity of mammography, yet its use within breast cancer screening programs in Australia is limited. We provide a contemporary snapshot of the role of breast density measurement in screening for breast cancer and review the recent evidence for an increasing role of breast density measurement as: a predictor of breast cancer risk, a predictor of 'masking', and a biomarker to monitor effectiveness of intervention strategies for primary prevention or improved breast cancer outcomes.

Keywords: Mammographic screening; biomarker; breast density; risk prediction; tailored screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Density*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers