Density By Province

How Your Screening Agency Reports Your Breast Density

Please see the two charts below to find how density is reported in your province and  how you can access your density information. This information applies only to screening mammograms performed within your province’s screening program.

In some provinces, your level of density is recorded as a percentage.

In some provinces, your density is only recorded if it is above 75% dense breast tissue but dense breasts are those with 50% and above dense breast tissue.

In some provinces, no information is relayed to doctors or women about density

In some provinces, your density is recorded as a category

Category A:  Almost entirely fatty: the breasts have little fibrous and glandular tissue and are mostly fat. A mammogram would likely detect an abnormality.

Category B: Scattered areas of fibroglandular density: the breasts have scattered areas of fibrous and glandular tissue, but also quite a bit of fat.

Category C: Heterogeneously dense: the breasts have consistently distributed areas of fibrous and glandular tissue.

Category D: Extremely dense breasts: the breasts have a lot of fibrous and glandular tissue.

Category C and D are dense breasts. Small tumors may be obscured and lower the accuracy of a mammogram.

 

PROVINCE

 

WHAT DENSITY INFORMATION IS IN YOUR FILE?

 

 

IS YOUR DENSITY INFORMATION REPORTED TO YOUR GP?

 

Are women with 75% + dense tissue  asked to return in one year?  
British Columbia The category of density:

A/ /B/ C/ D

NO NO
Manitoba If your breast density is Under 75% or Over 75% NO NO
Nova Scotia No information is on file, but you can request images to be assessed
NO Sometimes
Saskatchewan If your breast density is Under 75% or Over 75% Only if density is over 75% density. Yes
Newfoundland If your breast density is Under 75% or over 75% Only if density is over 75% density. Yes
Ontario Words are used to describe your your level of density
Usually
Yes
NWT If your breast density, is Under 75%, or 75% or Over 75% If your breast density, is Under 75%, or 75% or Over 75%
Yes
New Brunswick Zone 1, 2, 5: If your density is Under 50% or Over 50%. Zone 1,2:  Yes. Density is described in words under impressions/comments. Zone 5: GP told if density is under or over 50%
Depends on zone
PEI Percentage of dense breast tissue Yes. Density is described using a percentage Yes
Alberta It depends. Some radiologists use words to describe level  of density.
Yes. Density is reported in words
No
Quebec Percentage of dense breast tissue or category of density A/B/C/D
Yes. Density is described in every report as a percentage or in words
No
Yukon If your breast density, is Under 75%, or 75% or Over 75% If your breast density, is Under 75%, or 75% or Over 75% No

How To Access Your Breast Density Information

Province How can I find out my density?
British Columbia

 

You can find out your density. Mail or Fax “Access to Information form http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/screening/Documents/SMP_Form-SMPRequestForAccessToRecords.pdf

Under “Requested Info” write:I want to know my breast density category (A,B,C,D), as marked by the radiologist who read my screening mammogram. If the radiologist did not report my density, please ask the Program Medical Director to do so.”

Manitoba Mail or Fax: Request to Release Personal Health Information http://www.cancercare.mb.ca/home/patients_and_family/personal_health_information/

Under section: ‘Disclosing the following personal health information, specifically’, write: “I want to know my breast density, as marked by the radiologist who read my screening mammogram.”

Please note: the information will only tell you if you are Under or Over 75% density. While this is important information, it should be noted that dense breasts are considered 50% and above dense tissue, not just 75% and above.

Nova Scotia These are the simple steps the family doctor needs to take:
On a breast screening requisition, the doctor writes: Please review patient’s mammogram images and inform me of the patient’s density.
The doctor needs to fax the form to the central booking office at 902 473 3959.
There is no fee.The request can be made for mammograms done in the past as well as those being ordered now.
Saskatchewan Family doctors and patients are notified if the breast density is 75% and over. Women with dense breasts in the 50-75% category cannot find out if they have dense breasts because this information is not recorded.
Newfoundland/

Labrador

Access to your medical record can be obtained through completing a Consent for Release/Request of Personal Health Information form.  Write “I want to know my breast density, as marked by the radiologist who read my screening mammogram.” Mail or fax the form  http://www.easternhealth.ca/AboutEH.aspx?d=2&id=1408&p=55#2

Family doctors are notified if the breast density is 75% and over. Women with dense breasts in the 50-75% category cannot find out if they have dense breasts because this information is not recorded.

 

Ontario Your mammogram report may have a description of your density. Ask your doctor what the report says and ask for a copy. If the density information is not included, ask your doctor to request the information from the screening program.

 

NWT Your mammogram report has a percentage of density. Ask your doctor what the report says and ask for a copy. Your density is marked as under,equal or over  75% only. Women with dense breasts in the 50-74% category cannot find out if they have dense breasts because this information is not recorded.

 

New Brunswick Your mammogram report may have a description of your density. Ask your doctor what the report says and ask for a copy. If the density information is not included, ask your doctor to request the information from the screening program.

 

PEI Your mammogram report may have a description of your density. Ask your doctor what the report says and ask for a copy. If the density information is not included, ask your doctor to request the information from the screening program.

 

Alberta Your mammogram report should have a description of your density. Ask your doctor what the report says and ask for a copy.

 

 

Quebec Your mammogram has a description of your density. Ask your doctor what the report says and ask for a copy. The density information is on the third line of the report.
Yukon Your mammogram report may have a description of your density. Ask your doctor what the report says and ask for a copy. If the density information is not included, ask your doctor to request the information from the screening program.