Women in British Columbia will soon get breast density information after having a mammogram, which can lead to the screening test missing cancer.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C. is the first province to share breast density mammogram results with all women to better inform and support the monitoring of breast health.
The results will be available beginning in mid-October.
Colin Mar, the breast screening program’s medical director, said Friday breast density is one in a number of risk factors for cancer.
“Interpretation becomes more challenging when the breast density becomes higher,” he said.
Mitzi Dean, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, said having access to breast density information will empower women.
“With this information women will be able to engage in a discussion with their health care professionals on an equal footing about their risk of breast cancer and the best means to address that risk,” she said.
Breast density information has only been available by request through the breast screening program.
The province says statistics show that around one woman in eight will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women in B.C., with about 3,500 women receiving a breast cancer diagnosis each year.