City Women Are More Likely To Develop Breast Cancer

Women living in urban areas have denser breasts, which make them more susceptible to developing breast cancer, according to a recent study presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Women's breast tissue may be fatty or glandular or a mixture of both. Women who have more glandular breasts show denser tissue on a mammogram. These women have been found to have nearly four times the risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with fatty breasts. To determine if there was a situational factor that attributed to the breast density, researchers analyzed digital mammograms of over 900 women from urban, suburban, and rural areas.

Researchers discovered that women who lived in London had significantly denser breasts when compared to other women who lived outside the city. The risk of increased density was twice as great in the 45 to 54 year old age group. Researchers found through age specific analysis that overall differences by area were more pronounced in women under 50.

Director of the London Breast Institute, Dr. Nicholas Perry, cautions that more research is needed to determine the other factors that could cause this phenomenon. Researchers believe lifestyle factors, stress, workplace, and other factors could contribute to determining breast density.

Dr. Perry advises that women with dense breasts be screened with digital mammography, which is more effective at detecting cancer in dense breast tissue. He states, "Regular breast screening with mammography saves lives. Access to breast screening for women living in cities must be prioritized."


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