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What is Breast Density and Why is it Important?

“What is breast density and why is it important” is a question women often ask. Breast density as used here is a term specific to radiology and is not a description of how the breasts feel on a physical exam. Your primary care provider may use terms such as lumpy, fibrous, or cystic however a mammogram is necessary to determine density.

What is Breast Density?

Breast Density on a mammogram refers to the percentage of the breast tissue that is considered fibrograndular tissue, which appears white on a mammogram. The greater percentage of white that appearing on the image the higher the density rating.

Approximately 50% of women are considered to have dense or extremely dense breasts and for these women a mammogram may be less accurate because the dense breast tissue can obscure the visibility of cancer.

Breast Density Images

Importance of Annual Screenings

Your annual screening mammogram is always the first step in your breast health and essential in the early detection of breast cancer. If your mammogram result letter indicates that your breasts are considered dense be reassured, there are multiple screening tools available, such as Abbreviated Breast MRI, Standard Breast MRI or Screening Breast Ultrasound. A conversation with your doctor will determine a screening plan that works for you.

While having dense breasts may increase the risk of developing breast cancer maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, good nutrition, healthy weight, not smoking or quitting smoking and limiting alcohol can help to keep your risk for developing breast cancer as low as possible.

“Early detection of breast cancer saves lives. And with the tools of 3D mammography/tomosynthesis, supplemental screening breast ultrasound and abbreviated breast MRI we are better equipped than ever to positively impact women’s health.”
 – Medical Director, CRL Women’s Imaging

About CRL Women’s Imaging

CRL Women’s Imaging is a leader in outpatient imaging and designated as Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  Our team of dedicated, board-certified breast imagers with broad expertise and a genuine interest in breast imaging and our knowledgeable technologists certified in mammography, ultrasound, and MRI are committed to provide our patients with the high-quality compassionate care they can trust.

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