What Is Dense Breast Tissue?
Many factors are involved when assessing a women’s risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. These factors include family history, age, geography, and many more. What some women may not know is, the density of breast tissue plays one of the most important factors. Breast tissue can alter the way breast cancer may appear on an annual screening mammogram and how your radiologist will interpret images from your imaging studies. Here are some details about breast tissue density and how they affect women’s imaging studies.
Dense breasts tissue is a specific description that categorizes how your breast tissue appears on a mammogram. Dense breast tissue is a very common finding. 2D & 3D mammograms show images of different types of breast tissue. These images show non-dense tissue as dark and transparent areas. Dense breast tissue appears as solid white areas. These solid white areas are difficult to interpret since they are hard to see through. Dense breast tissue can make symptoms and signs of breast cancer hard to detect.
Dense breast tissue doesn’t have an exact cause. There are certain characteristics that point towards having dense breast tissue, however. A women’s age correlates with breast tissue density. As you age, your breast tissue will slowly become less dense. Women with a lower body mass index (BMI) are more likely to have dense breast tissue. Women who have taken hormone therapy for menopause symptoms have shown increased likelihood to have dense breast tissue. Keep these factors in mind as you go through annual screening mammogram appointments.
A breast MRI scan allows for radiologists to obtain a deeper look at breast tissue, which can detect signs of breast cancer that a mammogram cannot. A breast MRI scan is a noninvasive imaging study that is quick and painless like a 3D mammogram. SJRA has subspecialized, breast imaging radiologists who can utilize mammography and breast MRI scans to detect early stages of breast cancer regardless of breast tissue density.
If you are interested in more information regarding breast tissue density and women’s imaging services that can help, reach out to any of the following locations:
- Cherry Hill Office – Cherry Hill, NJ
- Haddonfield Office – Haddonfield, NJ
- Greentree Office – Marlton, NJ
- Turnersville Office – Turnersville, NJ
- Women's Center at Cross Keys – Sewell, NJ
- Women's Center at Voorhees – Voorhees, NJ
- Women's Center at Virtua – Voorhees, NJ
- West Deptford Office – West Deptford, NJ