Mammogram is considered as the key test to screen breast cancer, but it is found that the test is not effective for everyone especially the ones who have heavy breast
10 percent of the women in U.S. have heavy breasts.
It is found that heavy breast have lot of connective and glandular tissue compared to the ones with low density breast making it difficult to track the tumor.
People with heavy breast should need additional screening to ascertain breast cancer risk.
Mammogram is basically an X-ray of the breast, and the screener will usually takes X-rays from different angles of each breast.
In dense breast there is possibility of tumor to blend into the tissue and making it difficult to detect it with mammogram.
There are other additional screening options are available which the person can opt to detect the breast cancer risk, but the main problem is that insurance cover only covers mammograms under preventive care, and additional screening tests are not covered under insurance.
Additional screening test would cost somewhere around $200 to $300 for one checkup.
Terri Mallioux, said she had to spend $275 out of her pocket to get a whole breast ultrasound, which spotted a small tumor, but tumor was not spotted in the mammogram test which she had before the ultrasound test. As the tumor was spotted early she got lumpectomy and 20 radiation sessions without going for chemotherapy.
Now Mallioux wants a legislation that would require screening center to inform women what their screening options are.
A report by the Annals of Internal Medicine last year found that additional ultrasound screening for women with heavy breast did not increase survival rates, but increased costs.