Breast Density Matters
Dense breasts can decrease the effectiveness of a mammogram and increase your risk for breast cancer. There are steps you can take to minimize your risk. Know and understand your breast density.
Why your breast density matters.
The denser the breast, the higher the risk of getting breast cancer.
Having dense breasts is a greater risk factor than having a family history of breast cancer.
Mammograms miss about 40% of breast cancers in the densest breasts.
There are 4 categories of breast density.
Category C and D are considered “dense breasts” with over 50% dense tissue. Dense breasts are common and normal. In fact, about 43% of women ages 40+ have dense breasts.
Dense breasts make it harder to see cancer.
Dense breasts make it harder for radiologists to spot cancer. On a mammogram, dense breast tissue shows up as white and so does a cancerous tumour.
Mammograms are a highly effective tool for women with fatty breasts, but mammograms alone are not enough for women with dense breast tissue. If you have dense breasts, you may want to discuss additional screening, such as ultrasound with your doctor/nurse practitioner.