The Food and Drug Administration recommended Thursday that all mammogram centers tell women if they have dense breast tissue, which could mean they are at greater risk for breast cancer, The New York Times reported.
The new rules, which are required to be implemented within 18 months, will require mammogram providers nationwide to notify women if they have dense breasts. The only way a person can find out if they have dense breasts is to have a mammogram.
“Today’s action represents the agency’s broader commitment to support innovation to prevent, detect and treat cancer,” Dr. Hilary Marston, the FDA’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.
Based on mammogram images, centers divide breast density into four levels: A, B, C and D.
About 10 percent of women are considered level D, with extremely dense breasts. Those women are at increased risk for developing breast cancer.
Those in level C are at average risk for cancer, based on density alone, according to the Mayo Clinic.
More than 297,700 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2023, and about 43,700 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.