Breast density measurement for personalised screening

K. Holland

  • Promotor: N. Karssemeijer
  • Copromotor: C. van Gils and R. Mann
  • Graduation year: 2017
  • Radboud University, Nijmegen


It is not new that women with high breast density (the amount of ducts and epithelial tissue in relation to the breast volume) have an increased breast cancer risk compared to women with low breast density. When measuring the influence of breast density on the performance of the Dutch breast cancer screening program, we see that the sensitivity decreases with increasing density. Women with dense breast have not only an increased breast cancer risk but also an increased risk that the tumour is not detected within the screening program. Hence, breast density could be used for personalised screening. Depending on the breast cancer risk and the risk of not detecting the tumour with mammography, additional imaging with ultrasound or MRI could be offered. Next to the influence of breast density on the screening program performance, we investigated the consistency of breast density estimations between a computer program and radiologists, and whether these density measurements are suitable for a stratification into different screening regimes.