ecancermedicalscience

Short Communication

InforMD: a new initiative to raise public awareness about breast density

6 Feb 2018
Honor J Hugo, Aneta Zysk, Pallave Dasari, Kara Britt, John L Hopper, Jennifer Stone, Erik W Thompson, Wendy V Ingman

On a mammogram, breast density (also known as mammographic density) is shown as white and bright regions and is associated with reduced sensitivity in cancer detection and increased breast cancer risk. However, many Australian women are unaware of the significance of breast density as it is not routinely reported or discussed. In order to address this lack of knowledge, Australian breast cancer researchers with expertise in mammographic density formed the InforMD alliance (INformation FORum on Mammographic Density) in 2016. The alliance is working to raise awareness of breast density with the goal of improving breast cancer diagnosis and health outcomes for women. The InforMD website (www.InforMD.org.au) was launched in October 2016, coinciding with a major nationwide public awareness campaign by the alliance during breast cancer awareness month. The website contains unbiased, accurate, updated information on breast density. The website also provides summaries of major research articles in layperson language, recent news items related to breast density, links to relevant information for health professionals, events, and feature articles. Members of the public and health professionals can also subscribe for news updates. The interactive online Forum section facilitates discussion between health professionals, scientists and members of the public. To increase online traffic to the website, Facebook (www.facebook.com/BeInforMD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/BeInforMD_) pages were launched in December 2016. Since its launch, InforMD has generated considerable interest. The public awareness campaign reached over 7 million Australians through a combination of newspaper, TV, radio, and online news. The website has attracted 13,058 unique visitors and 30,353 page views (data as of 19/12/2017). Breast cancer researchers have a significant role to play in disseminating information to the public on breast density. A combination of mainstream and social media, together with a well-informed and updated website, has laid the groundwork for the InforMD alliance to reach a wide audience.

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