It’s an Issue for Many Women

October 18, 2022

Three women smilingWhen it comes to breast health, what are you missing? Breast imaging technologies have advanced and there are now more options and resources for patients to consider, especially those with dense breasts.

We’ve answered questions to help you better understand the implications of breast density and why you should be familiar with it.

What does it mean to have dense breasts?

The term breast density is used to describe the amount of fibrous and glandular tissue in relation to fatty tissue in a woman’s breasts. The more fibrous and glandular tissue, the denser the breast. You may not know your own density status, but here’s why you should: dense breasts may affect your personal risk of getting breast cancer. The denser the breast, the higher the risk.

If you’ve found out you have dense breast tissue, you’re not alone. About half of women over the age of 40 have dense breasts. And around 25% of those women reported finding out they had dense breasts after having a routine mammogram.*

If I have dense breast tissue, what should I do?

Screening mammograms are available starting at age 40. If you’ve already had a mammogram or two, you might’ve already discovered that your breasts are dense. If that’s the case, breast ultrasound imaging technology has changed, and you have options.

Ultrasound technology is widely trusted to scan through denser tissue. Discuss with your physician what option would work best for those who are at higher risk for breast cancer.

What is getting a breast ultrasound like?

Typically, you lie on a table, and a lotion is applied to your breasts. An ultrasound probe is placed on your breast, and it takes approximately 90 seconds to scan. Typically, each breast is scanned three times. The entire exam usually lasts no longer than 20-30 minutes. It’s a quick, comfortable and virtually painless process.

If you’re age 40 and over, start scheduling a routine mammogram to keep up with your breast health. From there, you and your physician can make informed decisions about what comes next.

To schedule a mammogram, call Lakewood Ranch Medical Center at 941-782-2264.

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention