Well, we know that healthy food and fresh unpolluted air in the rural areas are the secret of the strong health in the case of people living in the country, but this discovery goes deeper: women living in urban areas have even unhealthy denser breasts, fact that turns them more prone to developing breast cancer, as found by a new research presented at the annual meeting of the
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
"Women living in cities need to pay more attention to having regular breast screening. Currently, women who live in urban areas are known to have lower attendance for breast screening programs than women in outlying areas.", said Dr. Nicholas M. Perry, director of The London Breast Institute at The Princess Grace Hospital in London, U.K.
Female breast tissue is made of a mix of fatty and glandular tissues, and also fibrous proteins, but the proportion of each varies from woman to woman. Women with breasts dominated by glandular tissue display denser tissue on a mammogram and are about four times more likely to get breast cancer than those with fatty breasts.
The research team checked if there was a relationship between breast density and the residence place, based on 972 digital mammograms coming from women living in urban, suburban and rural areas. The team found that London resident women had much denser breasts than those dwelling outside the city.
The probability of higher density was twice higher in the 45- to 54-year-old group, but the average differences by area were deeper in women under the age of 50.
For the moment, the team can just guess that these differences can be caused by lifestyle factors, stress, workplace and other factors, but only scientific research can clearly assess this. Dense breasts should be screened with digital mammography, more proper for detecting cancer cells in dense breast tissue. "Regular breast screening with mammography saves lives. Access to breast screening for women living in cities must be prioritized.", said Perry.