Breast tissue that is dense-Dense Breasts: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions - National Cancer Institute

Breasts are the same in men and women until puberty. They also have connective tissue, which includes adipose fatty tissue. These tissues make up the shape of your breasts. The only way to know if you have dense breasts is through a diagnostic mammogram. The mammogram will show what kind of tissues are dominant in your breasts.

Breast tissue that is dense

Breast tissue that is dense

Breast tissue that is dense

In fact, a recent letter to the journal of the American Medical Association noted that letters about dense breasts thatt written on average at the 11th grade reading level. You and your doctor may consider additional or supplemental testing based on your other risk factors and your personal preferences. They may benefit from annual breast cancer screening. Thst common are dense breasts? On mammograms, dense breast tissue looks white. Breasts can be almost entirely fatty Breast tissue that is densehave scattered areas of dense fibroglandular breast tissue Bhave many areas of glandular and connective tissue Cor be extremely dense D. First of all, the letter you Brast about the results of your mammogram is often not understandable. After menopause, breasts are typically composed more of fat than other connective and glandular tissue. Resources for News Media.

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Likely to find areas of concern that aren't cancer, but that require additional imaging or a biopsy Requires injection of contrast material Expensive test that might not be covered by insurance unless you have a very high risk of cancer. Keep in mind that studies define increased risk by comparing women with the highest breast density to women with Breast tissue that is dense lowest density. Exposes you to additional radiation, though levels are still very low Availability is becoming more common. Cancer Biology Research. The ducts end at the nipple. It requires the U. Exposes you to additional radiation, though levels are still very low Availability is becoming Latex balloons clearance common. Advanced Cancer and Caregivers. Breast density is often inherited, but other factors can influence it. Global Cancer Research. Obtaining a copy of each breast imaging report and putting them in a binder keeps you in Breast tissue that is dense loop and reduces the risk of your tests falling through the cracks or someone missing an important finding. Mammograms of dense breasts are harder to read than mammograms of fatty breasts. Digital mammography is better than film mammography in women with dense breasts, regardless of age.

Mammogram reports sent to women often mention breast density.

  • Breasts contain glandular, connective, and fat tissue.
  • Breast density is a measure used to describe mammogram images.
  • Dense breast tissue is detected on a mammogram.
  • If a recent mammogram showed you have dense breast tissue, you may wonder what this means for your breast cancer risk.
  • Breasts are the same in men and women until puberty.

Breasts are the same in men and women until puberty. They also have connective tissue, which includes adipose fatty tissue. These tissues make up the shape of your breasts. The only way to know if you have dense breasts is through a diagnostic mammogram. The mammogram will show what kind of tissues are dominant in your breasts. Read on to understand how dense breasts are diagnosed and how it relates to your risk for breast cancer.

Learning the structure of a breast can help with understanding breast density. The biological function of the breast is to make milk for breastfeeding. The raised area on the outside is the nipple. Surrounding the nipple is darker-colored skin called the areola. Inside the breast is glandular, fatty, and connective tissue. A system of lymph nodes, called the internal mammary chain, runs through the center of the chest.

Glandular tissue consists of a complex network of structures designed to carry milk to the nipple. This glandular part of the breast is divided into sections called lobes. Within each lobe are smaller bulbs, called lobules, which produce milk. Milk travels through small ducts that come together and connect into larger ducts designed to hold the milk.

The ducts end at the nipple. Connective tissue in the breast provides shape and support. Muscle tissue is present around the nipple and the ducts. It helps squeeze milk toward and out of the nipple. There are also nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels. Breast tissue extends from the breastbone near the middle of the chest all the way to the armpit area. The lymph vessels of the breast drain excess fluid and plasma proteins into lymph nodes.

Most of this drainage goes into nodes in the armpit. The rest goes to nodes located in the middle of the chest. Fatty tissue is the remaining component of breast tissue.

After menopause, breasts are typically composed more of fat than other connective and glandular tissue. This is because the number and size of lobules decreases after menopause.

Dense breasts are normal in many mammograms. According to a article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, nearly 40 percent of women in the United States have dense breasts. Factors that increase the likelihood of dense breasts are:.

Dense breasts can have a genetic component. Your chances of having dense breasts increase if your mother has them, too. When radiologists look at your mammogram, breast tissue will show up as black and white. X-rays pass through fatty tissue easier, so it shows up black and is considered less dense. You have dense breasts if your mammogram shows more white than black.

Some studies have shown that women with extremely dense breasts have a four to six times greater risk of developing breast cancer than women with mostly fatty breasts. The cancer appears to develop in areas where the breast is dense. This suggests a causative relationship. The exact connection is unknown, though. Research also suggests women with dense breasts have more ducts and lobes. This increases their risk because cancer often arises in these places.

Researchers are still studying this theory. However, one study suggests women with dense breasts who are considered obese or have tumors at least 2 centimeters in size have a lower breast cancer survival rate. Traditionally, doctors use mammography to diagnose potentially harmful lesions in the breasts. These lumps or lesions usually appear as white spots against black or gray areas. But if you have dense breasts, that tissue will appear white as well.

This makes it more difficult for doctors to see potential breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 20 percent of cancers are missed in a mammography. That percentage can approach 40 to 50 percent in women with dense breasts.

Studies have also found that digital and 3-D mammograms are better for detecting cancer in dense breasts because digital images are clearer. Fortunately, these types of machines are becoming more common. You can help reduce your risk of breast cancer by taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle. Examples include:. Researchers found no link between breast density and:. Many states, including California, Virginia, and New York, require radiologists to tell you if your breasts are extremely dense.

Ask your doctor to suggest a screening plan if you have dense breasts or other risks for breast cancer. Women in a high-risk breast cancer group and women using hormone therapy should also get a yearly MRI. MRIs can sometimes be more helpful in evaluating very dense breasts.

Dense breasts mainly increase your risk for a missed diagnosis. Dense breast tissue and tumors both show up white. Fatty breast tissue shows up as gray and black. If you do have dense breasts, your doctor may recommend regular mammograms.

Early diagnosis affects the outcome of breast cancer. Your doctor may recommend yearly mammograms and MRIs if you have other risk factors for breast cancer. Keep in mind that studies define increased risk by comparing women with the highest breast density to women with the lowest density. Dense breasts are a common finding in many mammograms.

If you want to read the latest research and recommendations, the nonprofit organization Are You Dense advocates for women with dense breasts. Find support from others who are living with breast cancer.

Scattered fibroglandular breast tissue refers to the density and composition of your breast tissue. Forty percent of women have this type of breast…. Though breast asymmetry is a common characteristic for women, significant change can indicate cancer. Here's how to interpret your mammogram results.

No specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer. However, dietary guidelines may help you reduce your overall risk. Learn more. Mammograms can help your doctor identify breast cancer. Check out our image gallery and learn more about mammograms. Found a lump or unusual spot on your breast during a self-exam?

Here's what you need to know about what you should do next. Chemotherapy infusions for metastatic breast cancer can be long and exhausting. Learn what must-have items other people bring to make treatment a bit…. Sarah was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in her 20s, something she never saw coming. Here, she writes a letter to her past self, explaining what…. New research finds conducting multigene testing on breast cancer patients when they are diagnosed is cost effective and could potentially save the….

Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at a young age can impact when and how you choose to start or grow your family. Learn what your…. Since she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in , Emily Garnett has learned many ways to navigate her care. Here are some of the tips she…. What causes dense breasts?

How are dense breasts detected? BI-RADS Composition Category Breast tissue description Ability to detect cancer A: Mostly fatty mostly fatty tissue, very few glandular and connective tissues cancer will likely show on scans B: Scattered density mostly fatty tissue with few foci of connective and glandular tissue cancer will likely show on scans C: Consistent density even amounts of fatty, connective, and glandular tissue throughout the breast smaller cancer foci are difficult to see D: Extremely dense significant amount of connective and glandular tissue cancer may blend in with tissue and be difficult to detect.

How do dense breasts affect your risk for cancer? How you can prevent or lower your risk of cancer. Formulate a screening plan with your doctor. Breast Asymmetry. Guide to Mammogram Images. Learn the Symptoms. Read this next.

Support for Caregivers. The only way to know if you have dense breasts is through a diagnostic mammogram. No specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer. About half of women undergoing mammograms have dense breasts. If you have dense breasts, there lifestyle choices you can make to keep your breast cancer risk as low as it can be:.

Breast tissue that is dense

Breast tissue that is dense. How does dense breast tissue look on a mammogram?

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Cancer Training at NCI. Resources for Trainees. Funding for Cancer Training. Some studies have shown that women with extremely dense breasts have a four to six times greater risk of developing breast cancer than women with mostly fatty breasts. The cancer appears to develop in areas where the breast is dense.

This suggests a causative relationship. The exact connection is unknown, though. Research also suggests women with dense breasts have more ducts and lobes. This increases their risk because cancer often arises in these places. Researchers are still studying this theory. However, one study suggests women with dense breasts who are considered obese or have tumors at least 2 centimeters in size have a lower breast cancer survival rate. Traditionally, doctors use mammography to diagnose potentially harmful lesions in the breasts.

These lumps or lesions usually appear as white spots against black or gray areas. But if you have dense breasts, that tissue will appear white as well. This makes it more difficult for doctors to see potential breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 20 percent of cancers are missed in a mammography.

That percentage can approach 40 to 50 percent in women with dense breasts. Studies have also found that digital and 3-D mammograms are better for detecting cancer in dense breasts because digital images are clearer.

Fortunately, these types of machines are becoming more common. You can help reduce your risk of breast cancer by taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle. Examples include:. Researchers found no link between breast density and:.

Many states, including California, Virginia, and New York, require radiologists to tell you if your breasts are extremely dense. Ask your doctor to suggest a screening plan if you have dense breasts or other risks for breast cancer.

Women in a high-risk breast cancer group and women using hormone therapy should also get a yearly MRI. MRIs can sometimes be more helpful in evaluating very dense breasts. Dense breasts mainly increase your risk for a missed diagnosis. Dense breast tissue and tumors both show up white. Fatty breast tissue shows up as gray and black. If you do have dense breasts, your doctor may recommend regular mammograms.

Early diagnosis affects the outcome of breast cancer. Your doctor may recommend yearly mammograms and MRIs if you have other risk factors for breast cancer. Keep in mind that studies define increased risk by comparing women with the highest breast density to women with the lowest density.

Dense breasts are a common finding in many mammograms. If you want to read the latest research and recommendations, the nonprofit organization Are You Dense advocates for women with dense breasts.

Find support from others who are living with breast cancer. Scattered fibroglandular breast tissue refers to the density and composition of your breast tissue. Forty percent of women have this type of breast…. Though breast asymmetry is a common characteristic for women, significant change can indicate cancer.

Here's how to interpret your mammogram results. No specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer. However, dietary guidelines may help you reduce your overall risk. Learn more. Mammograms can help your doctor identify breast cancer. Check out our image gallery and learn more about mammograms.

Found a lump or unusual spot on your breast during a self-exam? Here's what you need to know about what you should do next. Chemotherapy infusions for metastatic breast cancer can be long and exhausting. Learn what must-have items other people bring to make treatment a bit…. Sarah was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in her 20s, something she never saw coming. Here, she writes a letter to her past self, explaining what….

New research finds conducting multigene testing on breast cancer patients when they are diagnosed is cost effective and could potentially save the…. Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at a young age can impact when and how you choose to start or grow your family.

Dense breast tissue: What it means to have dense breasts - Mayo Clinic

Breasts contain glandular, connective, and fat tissue. Breast density is a term that describes the relative amount of these different types of breast tissue as seen on a mammogram. Dense breasts have relatively high amounts of glandular tissue and fibrous connective tissue and relatively low amounts of fatty breast tissue. Only a mammogram can show if a woman has dense breasts.

Dense breast tissue cannot be felt in a clinical breast exam or in a breast self-exam. For this reason, dense breasts are sometimes referred to as mammographically dense breasts. Nearly half of all women age 40 and older who get mammograms are found to have dense breasts. Breast density is often inherited, but other factors can influence it. Factors associated with lower breast density include increasing age, having children, and using tamoxifen.

Factors associated with higher breast density include using postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and having a low body mass index. This system, developed by the American College of Radiology , helps doctors to interpret and report back mammogram findings.

Doctors who review mammograms are called radiologists. The four breast density categories are shown in this image. Breasts can be almost entirely fatty A , have scattered areas of dense fibroglandular breast tissue B , have many areas of glandular and connective tissue C , or be extremely dense D.

Dense breast tissue appears white on a mammogram, as do some abnormal breast changes, such as calcifications and tumors. This can make a mammogram harder to read and may make it more difficult to find breast cancer in women with dense breasts.

Women with dense breasts may be called back for follow-up tests more often than women with fatty breasts. Yes, women with dense breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer than women with fatty breasts, and the risk increases with increasing breast density. This increased risk is separate from the effect of dense breasts on the ability to read a mammogram.

Research has found that breast cancer patients who have dense breasts are no more likely to die from breast cancer than breast cancer patients who have fatty breasts, after accounting for other health factors and tumor characteristics. In some states, mammography providers are required to inform women who have a mammogram about breast density in general or about whether they have dense breasts.

Many states now require that women with dense breasts be covered by insurance for supplemental imaging tests. A United States map showing information about specific state legislation is available from DenseBreast-info. Nevertheless, the value of supplemental, or additional, screening tests such as ultrasound or MRI for women with dense breasts is not yet clear, according to the Final Recommendation Statement on Breast Cancer Screening by the United States Preventive Services Task Force.

Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating the role of supplemental imaging tests in women with dense breasts. Menu Contact Dictionary Search. Understanding Cancer. What Is Cancer? Cancer Statistics. Cancer Disparities. Cancer Causes and Prevention.

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Breast tissue that is dense

Breast tissue that is dense