Oct 15, 2021

Breast Density 101

Cancer Awareness.

Around 40% of women have dense breasts, and breast density can influence several health factors. It can be helpful to know whether or not you have dense breasts and what that may mean for your health.

Breast density is determined by the amount of fatty tissue in the breast. Dense breasts have less fatty tissue. Women who have dense breasts are more likely to develop breast cancer.  Additionally, with less fatty tissue present in the breast, it can be more difficult to find tumors in the breast.

Premenopausal women, thinner women, and black women are more likely to have dense breasts. However, the only way to know your breast density is to have a mammography.

What should I do if I have dense breasts?

If your doctor informs you that you have dense breasts, you should take that into account along with other risk factors related to breast cancer such as family health history and lifestyle. You and your doctor can then determine a plan for getting regular screenings for breast cancer.

What are the types of breast cancer screening?

  • Mammogram: Most women will start getting mammograms at the age of 40. However, sometimes it is recommended at a younger age if a woman has higher risk factors. The most common mammogram screening is a 2D mammogram. 3D mammogram screenings are becoming more common and often provide more accurate results.
  • MRI: A breast MRI is usually used as a follow-up to a mammography if your doctor wants to get a more accurate look.
  • Ultrasound: If your doctor is concerned about something that shows up on a mammogram, an ultrasound may be used to get a closer look at a particular area. This can be particularly helpful for women with dense breasts.
So many factors determine a woman’s risk for breast cancer including family history, personal health history, and breast density. It is important for you to be informed about your risk so that you can know what is normal for you and you can receive the proper screenings.

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