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The University of Western Australia (UWA) is calling for participants to join a pilot study into breast density among young women, in the hope of understanding cancer risks later in life.

High breast density is a strong predictors of breast cancer in older women, giving them a four to six times greater likelihood of developing cancer than women with low density.

Hoping to identify factors associated with increased density in younger populations, UWA is seeking women aged between 18 and 40 to participate in the study. If you live in West Australia and are interested in participating, click here to find out more.

Participants will be measured using a Transillumination Breast Spectroscopy, or TiBS using visible and near-infrared light. Researchers hope the machine may be used for screening under-40’s in the future, to monitor change in those typically too young to have mammograms.

Breast density can be impacted by smoking, alcohol and contraceptive use, giving an insight into future prevention strategies. Dense breasts are common and despite being a risk factor for cancer, they alone are not an indication that a woman will develop the disease.

The study will be funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

%

breasts are classified as 'dense' when more than 50% of a breast consists of fibroglandular tissue

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of women do not know if they have dense breasts

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up to 40% of breast cancer goes undetected by mammography alone in women with dense breasts