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International Breast Density & Cancer Risk Assessment Workshop

What is IBDW?

The International Breast Density & Cancer Risk Assessment Workshop (abbreviated to IBDW) is a biennial workshop bringing together experts in quantifying dense breast tissue, image features, and breast cancer risk. The workshop was first held in San Francisco, CA in 2002 and continues in Hawai‘i since 2019. This workshop features oral presentations from invited speakers and selected proffered abstracts and poster presentations from scientists around the world on cutting edge science pertaining to breast density, quantitative image features and breast cancer risk. Also, testimonials from breast cancer survivors are shared on how breast density and cancer has impacted their lives.

Dense breast tissue is known to be one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in Hawaiʻi and globally. Breast density must be accurately measured and be used in accurate models to identify women at high risk of developing breast cancer. Further, the communication of breast density to women and health care providers is critical so that they can make informed decisions regarding their breast cancer screening options such as the modality, frequency, and combination of breast imaging tests.

The technology and methods to analyze breast images are constantly evolving, especially with the rapid adaptation of machine learning, such as deep learning. The presentation of advances in technology and breast cancer risk modeling at IBDW brings together a critical mass of researchers to productively share ideas and recent works to advance this important topic.

This conference deals with many aspects of screening, especially for young women with dense breasts… This is a very important issue to solve and I wish for people, especially for women, to get the chance to have happiness… My dream is to overcome breast cancer all over the world.

Ohuchi Noriaki, MD, PhD
Tohoku University, Japan
at the 2023 IBDW

It’s the best meeting I’ve ever attended… I meet the people that I collaborate with. I meet new acquaintances… There’s much to take home from here. There are several studies going on right now that were initiated at [IBDW].

Per Hall, PhD, MD
Karolinksa Institutet, Sweden
at the 2023 IBDW

Attending conferences like this  allows me to have those really unique connections with people and be able to discuss their work. [I am] able to dive deeper and also inform my work from their knowledge.

Zahna Bigham
Tufts University, United States
at the 2023 IBDW


The goal of the IBDW is to explore all aspects of the evolving story of breast cancer risk factors and encourage connections between professionals working in the breast cancer field. Each day of the workshop includes a deep dive into various topics including clinical aspects of breast density, biology, methods of imaging, and using risk factors to predict breast cancer. As an entirely in-person event, attendees are invited to various networking events to connect with their colleagues. Upon moving the IBDW to Hawaiʻi, the event has also included an emphasis on learning and appreciating the Hawaiian culture and its people.

Why Hawaiʻi?

The decision for IBDW to move to Hawaiʻi is primarily influenced by Dr. John Shepherd, one of the workshop chairs, moving to the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center in 2018. The UH Cancer Center’s efforts in advancing cancer research place significant value on connecting with the community. Workshop participants are encouraged to learn more about the work being done here and getting to know the unique culture and diverse population of the islands. UHCC studies include the Multiethnic Cohort Study and the Hawaiʻi Pacific Mammography Registry, which are making strides in creating more diverse datasets for cancer research. These studies are especially benefited by connections to organizations throughout Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Rim from UHCC partnerships such as PIPCHE and the Hawai’i Cancer Consortium.

IBDW’s focus is on creating a conducive environment for networking and knowledge exchange. The people of Hawaiʻi, who see high rates of breast cancer, can benefit greatly from the insights from workshop attendees. In turn, professionals are introduced to our diverse people and our culture of aloha in the hopes that they return home with these things in mind.

Past Workshops


10th International Breast Density & Cancer Risk Assessment Workshop

Kailua-Kona, HI


9th International Breast Density & Cancer Risk Assessment Workshop

Honolulu, HI


8th International Breast Density and Cancer Risk Assessment Workshop

San Francisco, CA


7th International Workshop on Breast Densitometry and Cancer Risk Assessment

San Francisco, CA