Percent mammographic density (PMD) is a strong breast cancer risk factor, however, other mammographic features, such as V, the standard deviation (SD) of pixel intensity, may be associated with risk. We assessed whether PMD, automated PMD (APD), and V, yielded independent associations with breast cancer risk. We included 1900 breast cancer cases and 3921 matched controls from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the NHSII. Using digitized film mammograms, we estimated PMD using a computer-assisted thresholding technique. APD and V were determined using an automated computer algorithm. We used logistic regression to generate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Median time from mammogram to diagnosis was 4.1 years (interquartile range: 1.6–6.8 years). PMD (OR per SD:1.52, 95% CI: 1.42, 1.63), APD (OR per SD:1.32, 95% CI: 1.24, 1.41), and V (OR per SD:1.32, 95% CI: 1.24, 1.40) were positively associated with breast cancer risk. Associations for APD were attenuated but remained statistically significant after mutual adjustment for PMD or V. Women in the highest quartile of both APD and V (OR vs Q1/Q1: 2.49, 95% CI: 2.02, 3.06), or PMD and V (OR vs Q1/Q1: 3.57, 95% CI: 2.79, 4.58) had increased breast cancer risk. An automated method of PMD assessment is feasible and yields similar, but somewhat weaker, estimates to a manual measure. PMD, APD and V are each independently, positively associated with breast cancer risk. Women with dense breasts and greater texture variation are at the highest relative risk of breast cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pharmacology (medical)