Mammography is always the first step in preventative care and will help determine if you have dense breasts. Dense breast tissue makes it harder for radiologists to see cancer because fatty tissue looks almost black in mammograms. On a black background, it’s easy to see a tumor that looks white. Dense breast tissue also looks white in mammograms, though, masking breast masses or tumors that also look white. So, the dense tissue can hide tumors, and that’s why mammograms can be less accurate in women with dense breasts.
I have dense breasts; now what?
1. Conduct monthly breast self-exams
2. Schedule an annual mammogram with contrast imaging, aka Contrast Enhanced Imaging or ‘CEM’.
3. Obtain a copy of your mammogram report and read the description of your breast density
4. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and the potential need for additional screening (bi-lateral ultrasound, breast MRI).