Radiologists characterize each mammogram into one of four levels of overall density: almost entirely fatty, scattered areas of fibroglandular density, heterogeneously dense, and extremely dense. There are two primary implications of mammographic breast density. The first involves the effect on mammographic sensitivity i. Masking occurs when surrounding breast tissue obscures a cancer.
Dense Breasts: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions - National Cancer Institute
Dense breast tissue is detected on a mammogram. Additional imaging tests are sometimes recommended for women with dense breasts. If a recent mammogram showed you have dense breast tissue, you may wonder what this means for your breast cancer risk. Doctors know dense breast tissue makes breast cancer screening more difficult and it increases the risk of breast cancer. Review your breast cancer risk factors with your doctor and consider your options for additional breast cancer screening tests. Together you can decide whether additional screening tests are right for you. Dense breast tissue refers to the appearance of breast tissue on a mammogram.
Page Content What is breast density? Breasts are made up of two main types of tissue — fibroglandular tissue and fatty tissue. Fibroglandular tissue appears dense on a mammogram, while fatty tissue does not.
Some mammogram reports sent to women mention breast density. Your health care provider can also tell you if your mammogram shows that you have dense breasts. In some states, women whose mammograms show heterogenously dense or extremely dense breasts must be told that they have dense breasts in the summary of the mammogram report that is sent to patients sometimes called the lay summary. Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.