Breast Density

If you have dense breasts, a traditional mammography may not be the most complete choice for you when screening for breast cancer. Luckily, there are more imaging options available. In addition to mammography, the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital offers other screening tools such as breast MRI, ultrasound, and Positron Emission Mammography.

So, what does it mean to have dense breasts? Essentially, it means that your breasts are made up of less fat and more tissue that is composed of breast ducts, breast lobules and connective tissue – which are the tissues where breast cancer can form. This “fertile soil” can increase your risk up to five times . In addition, on a mammogram, dense breast tissue shows up as the color white and so does cancer. So the denser the breasts the more white areas on the mammogram, the more difficult it is to determine what is normal tissue and what could potentially be cancer. For this reason, breast density impacts the type of screening that a woman should have. The only way to determine the density of one’s breasts is through a mammogram.

With these results, patients may be advised to undergo further testing, which will be in the form of an Ultrasound or, if they meet the highest level of risk, an MRI. For more information on the Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute click here to visit their website, or call 561.955.5000.