Should I Worry About Dense Breast Tissue?

By: Women's Care Florida Staff

Breast health continues to be an important topic of women’s conversations these days. Heightened awareness of breast cancer risks and the benefits of early detection empowers women to be more proactive in protecting their health. Furthermore, having dense breast tissue or dense breasts affects the accuracy of breast cancer screenings.

What are dense breasts?

According to a recent article on the Medical News Today website, dense breast tissue can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It can also make it more difficult for physicians to identify cancerous lesions in the breast.

The anatomy of the breasts consists of three components. These include lobules, ducts, and connective tissue that can be fatty or fibrous. In addition, breast density can fall under one of four categories:

  • Mostly fatty
  • Scattered fatty
  • Consistent density
  • Extremely dense

A doctor may diagnose a women with dense breasts if they contain more fibers than fat. According to Stanford Health Care, “Ten percent of U.S. women have almost entirely fatty breasts, 10 percent have extremely dense breasts, and 80 percent are classified into either scattered density or consistent density”.

Diagnosing dense breast tissue

Having firm or large breasts doesn’t automatically mean that you have dense breasts. Furthermore, you can determine if you have dense breasts by using a mammogram or x-ray. Know a dense breast tissue diagnosis does not mean a threat to your life. By understanding the risks associated with dense breasts, you can better prepare for getting them checked. Your physician may need to use different imaging techniques such as MRI to differentiate between dense tissue and tumors. By properly getting them checked, you better your chances of detecting anything unusual earlier.

You cannot prevent dense breasts. However, steps exist that you can take to lower your risk of breast cancer:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Engage in physical activity on a regular basis
  • Decrease your alcohol intake
  • Obtaining from smoking

It’s also important to stay up to date on mammogram screenings and to identify and discuss any family history of breast cancer with your doctor. Talk to your OB-GYN to learn more about dense breasts and how you can help lower your risk of breast cancer. The board-certified physicians at Women’s Care Florida are dedicated to keeping you healthy. Contact us today to make an appointment for a mammogram screening.

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