Why do I care about breast density?
- The more dense your breasts are, the higher your risk of breast cancer.
- Dense breast tissue on a mammogram is white. Cancer also appears white on a mammogram. Therefore, the more dense tissue you have the more difficult it is for the mammogram to find the cancer.
- This creates THE PERFECT STORM that might leave cancer undetected . . . and left to grow and spread.
So – do I have dense breasts?
Touch them all you want.
It has nothing to do with size or how they feel. There is only ONE way to know your density.
On A Mammogram:
How do I find out if I have dense breasts?
A radiologist uses a mammogram to determine your density level. So there is only 1 way to know:
GET A MAMMOGRAM or read a previous mammogram report.
Density is hereditary, but that doesn’t mean it’s constant. It can change!
Factors that can affect your density level throughout your life:
- aging, having kids, and using Tamoxifen* can lower density
- postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and having a low body mass index are associated with higher density
There are 4 categories of Breast Density:
A, B, C or D
Any amount of dense tissue is NORMAL!
TYPE A: Ideal Visibility
Your breasts are composed of almost entirely fatty tissue.
Technical Term: “Fatty”
TYPE B: Generally Good Visibility
Your breasts are composed of mainly fatty tissue, with some scattered areas of dense tissue.
Technical Term: “Scattered Fibroglandular Density”
TYPE C: Limited Visibility
Your breasts are a mixture of fatty tissue and dense tissue.
Technical Term: “Heterogeneously Dense”
Type D: Almost Zero Visibility
Your breasts are composed of almost entirely dense tissue.
Technical Term: “Extremely Dense”
The more dense your breasts are, the more difficult to see through the tissue.
Know Your Risk
The more dense the breast,
the higher the risk for breast cancer.
A woman with extremely dense breasts (Category D) is 4-6 times more likely to get breast cancer than a woman with fatty breast density (Category A).
Why has no one told me about this?
Our healthcare system has inconsistent rules, and not all doctors are equally informed.