Mammographic density of young women & their relatives

Lead researcher

Prof John Hopper, Dr Jennifer Stone, Dr Carmel Apicella, Dr Enes Makalic, Dr Daniel Schmidt, Dr Rob MacInnis

Centre for MEGA Epidemiology, The University of Melbourne

Years funded

Mammographic density (MD) is an established risk factor for breast cancer for women aged 40 years and older. Knowing whether or not MD at a young age predicts breast cancer will be important for deciding if, and how, MD measurements might be used to improve the effectiveness of mammographic screening.

Mammographic screening might be better utilised if women at high risk were screened more frequently, and conversely, if the vast majority at low risk were screened less frequently. Lowering the overall exposure of the female population to radiation from mammography, especially if this could be shown to not reduce or even improve the sensitivity and specificity of screening, could be advantageous in terms of health and economics. The proposed study will provide evidence to help towards this ultimate goal of our and other’s research work.

Lay Report - Final

Funding Body

Cancer Council Research Grant


$99,997 (2012), $98,120 (2013) and $99,822 (2014)