Breast density is a measure of how much glandular and fibrous tissue is found within a breast as compared with fat tissue, and it has nothing to do with breast size or firmness. Women who have dense breast tissue are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than females with less dense breast tissue, according to the American Cancer Society.
Dense breasts make it more difficult for physicians to spot breast cancers on traditional mammograms, thereby increasing the risk that some cancers will be missed. This is why it’s important for all women, especially those with dense breasts, to 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.
Dense breasts are fairly common. In fact, nearly half of all women over the age of 40 who get mammograms have dense breast tissue, says the National Cancer Institute. So it’s important to know you’re not alone.
Breast Density: One Piece of the Puzzle
Breast density is just one consideration when it comes to your breast health and breast cancer screening plan. Other factors must also be looked at as well, such as family history, age, and history of breast biopsies.
Having dense breasts is not a medical condition in itself; it is considered normal for many, and it does not cause symptoms. It’s impossible to tell just by feeling your breasts that they are dense. Firm breasts don’t necessarily equate to dense breasts. Rather, dense breast tissue is only detected on a mammogram, appearing white as opposed to dark which indicates fatty tissue.
It’s important to know if you have dense breasts because it poses an additional difficulty for radiologists to detect breast cancers on mammograms, thereby increasing the risk of missed cancers. The more dense breast tissue you have, the higher your risk. However, just having dense breasts does not mean you necessarily have a high risk of breast cancer.
A Closer Look at Breast Density
Breast density is a reflection of the amount of fibrous and glandular tissue in a woman’s breasts as compared with the amount of fatty tissue. On a typical mammography report, breast density will be assigned to one of four categories, according to the CDC:
- Breasts are nearly entirely fatty (10 percent of women)
- Some areas of dense tissue can be seen throughout the breasts (40 percent of women).
- Breasts are evenly dense throughout (40 percent of women); may be noted as “heterogeneously dense” on the report
- Breasts are very dense (10 percent of women)
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.
AWBUS: Extra Peace of Mind
Every woman should get yearly mammograms, as they are the best tool that we have overall that can determine the presence of dense breast tissue and detect most cancers. If you have dense breasts, or other concerns in the past with possible cancers, it’s wise to double up on your efforts and get annual breast cancer screenings as well – specifically a SonoCine AWBUS (automated whole breast ultrasound). This exam offers a consistent, repeatable scan of the whole breast including the underarm and lymph nodes.
Those who may benefit from AWBUS include women with:
- Dense breast tissue
- Family history of breast cancer
- Breast implants
- A desire to get their entire breast and axilla scanned
Whole breast ultrasound may be used as a complement to regular mammograms for any woman who wishes to get a clearer picture of her breast tissue. Our SonoCine technology, however, was specifically designed for women who have dense breast tissue or breast implants. For these women, it has proven difficult to get a clear, detailed, accurate image of breast tissue with a traditional mammogram alone due to the presence of implants or dense tissue.
Studies have shown that adding SonoCine to your yearly mammogram can improve cancer detection results. SonoCine painlessly visualizes breast tissue regardless of the presence of density or implants, with the ability to produce clear, accurate, detailed images so women can feel more confident about their diagnoses.
Book Your Screening at Sono Center Today
Book your appointment online with SonoCine AWBUS now. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it gives you peace of mind. We are a leading radiology facility in Pasadena, CA, specializing in breast screening and the early detection of breast cancers that are most frequently missed with mammography. We are located at 960 E Green St #166 in Pasadena, CA, and 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.