TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A recently announced FDA regulation will establish national guidelines for reporting breast density after mammography.
Jessica Baladad understands the risk factor of dense breasts.
“I’ve had a habit of examining myself since I was 18,” she said.
That’s because when she was a teenager, Baladad learned she had dense breasts.
Then, when she was 33, doing a self-examination, she found something in the shower.
“I went over the right side, everything was fine. I went over the left side, got to about 2, 3 o’clock and felt a knot,” she said.
Due to Baladad’s knowledge of her own body, she contracted cancer.
But, she says, one practitioner actually missed it.
“I went back and actually got my records and she marked them as normal,” she said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people were skipping their cancer screenings, Baladad created the Feel For Your Life app to teach women how to do self-exams.
She supports new federal regulations mandating reporting of breast density as is
Moffitt Cancer Center, Division Chief, Breast Imaging, Dr. Bethany Niell.
“I think it will empower women to learn more about their risk factors for breast cancer, including density,” said Dr. Niell.
A breast is considered dense if it contains much fibrous and glandular tissue rather than fat.
In America, half of women over 40 have dense breasts, which can affect detection.
“It’s harder to find a breast cancer in the rightmost image because the tissue can make it difficult for us to see the cancer,” said Dr. biell
Patients with dense breasts are also at a higher risk of developing cancer.
The new FDA rule will set a nationwide standard for informing women about their breast density after a mammogram that Dr. Nuell recommended annually after the age of 40.
“Being updated on your breast density is your reminder to make an appointment with your doctor and talk to them about all of your risk factors,” said Dr. Niell.
The Moffitt Cancer Center is already making breast density information available to patients because of legislation in force in Florida.
The FDA rule will go into effect in 2024.