[You can watch my speech by clicking here]
Local Member of Parliament Craig Tracey has urged for a greater understanding from health care providers and women to ensure Cancer is not missed due to breast density.
The North Warwickshire and Bedworth representative, who is Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Group for Breast Cancer, stated in the Parliamentary debate on Cancer:
“…issues surrounding breast density have become clear, particularly the increased risk and the masking of cancers in mammography. Mammograms are obviously the main method of national screening and, while considered the gold standard, evidence shows that they are not as effective for women with dense breasts.”
Mr Tracey warned that: “The challenge is that tumours show up as white on a mammogram, but so does the dense tissue, meaning that the cancer is missed in more than 50% of cases.” and went on to highlight the possible solution: “…the answer would be to change screening guidelines and offer further screening to those women at risk… we should not ignore the breast cancer experts in the UK, who are already educating about breast density, as there is a definite need to promote awareness not only to women, but health professionals, including GPs, who are the usual first port of call for women concerned about their health. The simple task of educating about breast density can potentially promote more positive health outcomes, lead to less harsh treatments, reduce mastectomies, avoid secondary cancers and, ultimately, save lives.”
The debate took place on 22nd February with contributions from many MPs who had personally been affected by Cancer or had a loved one who had.
Speaking afterwards Craig Tracey commented:
“Having dense breast tissue is not uncommon and is normal, but it can affect the ability to detect a tumour. It is important to note that great strides are being made in diagnosis and treatment, leading to survival rates doubling in the past 40 years. One of the key recommendations in the cancer strategy is on early diagnosis, with a target that, by 2020, 95% of patients will be diagnosed and receive results within four weeks.”
For more information on breast density visit https://en-gb.facebook.com/breastdensitymattersuk/