Educational intervention to improve patient understanding of breast density
Rivera, Kimberly Lissette
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide and has been a major public health concern for years. The main focus for improving breast cancer related outcomes has been on prevention and early detection. A mammogram, 2-D x-ray of the breasts, is the preferred screening tool for breast cancer. In the U.S., there is some controversy as to when screening mammograms should begin, however, all organizations agree that screening is important for prevention and early detection of breast cancer. In recent years there has been a question as to how effective mammograms are as a screening tool in women with dense breasts. Normal breast tissue is composed of fibrous, glandular, or adipose tissue. Dense breast is defined as the presence of large areas of fibrous or glandular tissue. The presence of fibrous and glandular tissue makes it more difficult to detect lesions due to lack of contrast. Dense breasts not only make it difficult to detect lesions but it is also in itself a risk factor for developing breast cancer. Given the difficulty in detecting lesions on mammogram and increased risk factor for breast cancer there has been a nationwide movement amongst advocacy groups to inform women of whether or not they have dense breasts. Many states have enacted legislation requiring that mammogram results include whether or not women have dense breasts. Current research has shown that although women may be more familiar with the term breast density, many are still not entirely show what breast density is and how it relates to screening mammograms and breast cancer. In this proposed project we will focus on pre- and post-intervention questionnaire results following an educational intervention about breast density. The educational intervention will be a 45-minute lecture dividing into three sections: 1. General information about breast density 2. Breast Density and Breast Cancer 3. Supplemental Screening Recommendations. The 45-minute lecture will then be followed by a 15-minute question-answer period. This study will attempt to address the knowledge gap for women have received dense breast notifications.