The good news: Two-thirds of U.S. women 40 and older say they get an annual mammogram. The bad news: The overwhelming majority of women don’t know their breast density or that it is a risk factor in developing cancer.

But that is slated to change thanks to the ongoing SOMO-INSIGHT study and a new organization designed to raise awareness about the link between dense breasts and cancer.

The SOMO-INSIGHT study, sponsored by U-Systems, is examining the efficacy of combining digital mammography with a diagnostic ultrasound to better screen women—particularly with dense breast tissue—for cancer. Researchers are using U-Systems’ Automated Breast Ultrasound System to screen the women participating in the study.

In a news release from U-Systems, lead investigator Rachel Brem, M.D., of George Washington University, noted that the combination of mammography and ultrasound appears to deliver a diagnostic one-two punch: “Several studies have shown that for women with dense breast tissue, supplementing mammograms with ultrasound can increase detection from 48% to 97%.”

About a third of the women recently surveyed about their use of mammography and their breast density said they would also consider having an ultrasound exam in addition to their annual mammogram.

But it isn’t just screening, American women and their physicians also need information. Are You Dense ( founded by cancer survivor Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D., is designed to give women information about the risk factors associated with having dense breasts. Meanwhile, Brem and her colleagues have posted information about their research at


(Source: Press Release)