Dense Breast Tissue

When you receive your report after your screening mammogram, you may learn that you have dense breast tissue. This is a relatively common condition. Knowing about breast density is important because women who have dense breast tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women with less dense breast tissue. Scientists don’t know for sure why this is true.

Dense breast tissue can hide abnormalities on your mammogram because it makes it harder for radiologists to see cancer. On mammograms, dense breast tissue looks white. So do breast masses or tumors. As a result, mammograms can be less accurate in women with dense breasts.

If you have dense breasts, talk with your health care provider about your personal risk of getting breast cancer. Dense breasts are just one of several risk factors. Your doctor may suggest additional tests, depending on your situation:

  • Fast Breast MRI is a 10-minute self-pay examination for women with dense breasts or at a higher risk for breast cancer.
  • Breast MRI uses strong magnets and radio waves to make pictures inside and surrounding the breast.
  • Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of breast tissue and distinguish between solid tumors and fluid-filled cysts. It also can evaluate lumps that are hard to see on a mammogram.

Your health care provider’s order is required for these tests. Schedule a breast imaging test.

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Our cancer team is here for you. Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our patients benefit from advanced local care backed by the world-renowned expertise of the nation’s leading cancer center. 

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.