Do You Have Dense Breasts?
Did you know that women with very dense breasts are four times more likely to develop breast cancer during their lifetime versus women with low density breasts?
What are dense breasts?
Each woman’s breast is made up of different proportions of tissue and fat. High density breasts are made up of more than 75% tissue than fat whereas low density breasts have more fat than tissue.
How do I know if my breasts are very dense?
Ask your doctor. If you have had a mammogram in the past, your doctor will have the measurement of your breast density in his written report from the radiologist.
If it is not included in the mammography report, a radiologist or qualified mammography technician can also determine your breast density by viewing a prior mammogram. While standard film mammography is very good, it is less sensitive for women with dense tissue because dense tissue is light, like tumors, which makes it hard for radiologists to spot a cancer.
Digital mammography is a much more accurate screening tool for women with very dense breasts. If your doctor determines that your breasts are very dense, ask your doctor to refer you for a digital mammogram instead of a standard film mammogram.
Find Out How Dense You Are.
Take charge of your breast health by determining how dense your breasts are and which mammography-screening tool is right for you.
1 Boyd NF et al. Mammographic Density and the Risk and Detection of Breast Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine 01/18/2007; 356;3 Pisano E, Gatsonis C, Diagnostic Performance of Digital versus Film Mammography for Breast Cancer Screening New England Journal of Medicine 10/27/2005; 353;17