If you know you have dense breasts, you’re not alone. It’s quite common. In fact, about half of all women over 40 who get mammograms have dense breast tissue, according to the National Cancer Institute. While it’s a common affliction, the problem is, females with dense breast tissue are in a higher risk bracket of developing breast cancer than those with less dense breast tissue, points out the American Cancer Society.
That’s why women with dense breasts need a little extra screening and attention on an annual basis. What exactly is breast density? Well, it measures the glandular and fibrous tissue present within a breast compared with fat tissue. Breast size or firmness are not factors. You can be small breasted and have dense breasts, and you can be large breasted and not have dense breasts.
In addition to breast density as a factor for assessing risk of breast cancer, other factors such as family history, age, and history of breast biopsies come into play.
Because dense breasts make it difficult for doctors to identify breast cancers on traditional mammograms, this increases the risk that they could miss some cancers, especially in early stages. This is why women, especially those with dense breasts, should combine SonoCine AWBUS (Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound) with mammography for the early detection of breast cancer. SonoCine AWBUS technology, used here at the Sono Center in Pasadena, is known for finding cancers of 10mm or less in size.
Determining Breast Density
So how do you know if your breasts are dense? Usually, your doctor will let you know after they have assessed the results of your first mammogram. After that, you will be flagged as having dense breasts so that future radiologists and doctors will keep this in consideration when reading your films.
It’s important to note that you can’t feel dense breast tissue yourself during a breast self-exam, or even by a doctor during a clinical breast exam. Only mammography and ultrasound can do that. There are levels or categories of density that the radiologist will consider, according to the CDC:
- 10% of women have breasts that are nearly entirely fatty
- 40% of women have some areas of dense tissue can be seen throughout the breasts
- 40% of women have breasts that are evenly dense throughout
- 10% of women have breasts that are very dense
Women who fall into the top two categories are considered as having non-dense, low-density, or fatty breasts, while women who fall into the second two categories are considered as having high-density or dense breasts.
Keep in mind, breast cancer patients with dense breasts are no more likely to die due to breast cancer than patients with fatty breasts, says the National Cancer Institute. Still, diligence is required in making sure that possible cancers can be detected at their earliest stages.
That’s where AWBUS comes in.
AWBUS For Peace of Mind
It’s long been recommended that every woman get yearly mammograms for the detection of cancer. Being the best tool available to determine the presence of dense breast tissue and detect most cancers, mammograms can’t be ignored as part of your yearly medical checkups.
If you know you have dense breasts, or have been concerned in the past with possible cancers, it’s a good idea to get annual breast cancer screenings on top of your regular mammogram. They are not the same thing. SonoCine AWBUS (automated whole breast ultrasound) is a consistent, repeatable scan of the whole breast, including the underarm and lymph nodes.
If you have the following, you could benefit from AWBUS:
- Dense breast tissue
- Breast implants
- Family history of breast cancer
- A desire to get your entire breast and axilla scanned
Whole breast ultrasound should not be used in place of mammography; rather, it should be used in conjunction to regular mammograms for anyone looking to obtain a clearer picture of their breast tissue. Here at Sono Center, our SonoCine technology is designed especially for women who have dense breast tissue or breast implants. For women in these situations, it’s hard for their doctors to get clear, detailed, and accurate images of their breast tissue using a traditional mammogram alone.
Adding SonoCine to your yearly mammogram as a complement to traditional screenings can improve cancer detection results. SonoCine has the ability to produce clear, accurate, detailed images painlessly — regardless of the presence of density or implants — so women with these conditions can feel more confident about their diagnoses.
Book Your Screening at Sono Center Today
If you have dense breasts, we welcome you to book your appointment online with SonoCine AWBUS, provided by a leading radiology facility in Pasadena, CA. Here, we specialize in breast screening and the early detection of breast cancers that are most frequently missed with mammography. You will find us at 960 E Green St #166 in Pasadena, CA, and we can be reached at 626-381-9430.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.