In Focus:

Dense breast tissue: What it means to have dense breasts

If a recent mammogram showed you have dense breast tissue, you may wonder what this means for your breast cancer risk. Doctors know dense breast tissue makes breast cancer screening more difficult and it may increase the risk of breast cancer.

In the United States, laws require doctors in some states to inform women when mammograms show they have dense breasts. But just what women should do in response isn't clear.

 

What is dense breast tissue?

 

Dense breast tissue refers to the appearance of breast tissue on a mammogram. It's a normal and common finding.

Breast tissue is composed of milk glands, milk ducts and supportive tissue (dense breast tissue), and fatty tissue (nondense breast tissue). When viewed on a mammogram, women with dense breasts have more dense tissue than fatty tissue.

 

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