What is Breast Density?

Normal breast anatomy includes milk-producing glands which are connected to the nipples at the surface through milk ducts. Surrounding fat cells and fibrous materials envelop the glands and ducts, providing support and protection. Additional breast tissue is comprised of lymphatic channels connecting to the lymph nodes, nerves, and blood vessels.

When a woman is said to have “dense breasts,” she has an excess of fibrous or glandular tissue without much fatty tissue. While breast density is not fully understood by the American Cancer Association, it may be a risk factor for breast cancer.

Breast density is not abnormal; in fact, it occurs in about 50% of women. Breast density may decrease as women age, but this is not the standard; some women experience no change in the density of their breasts.

The board certified radiology staff at The Woman’s Imaging Group use alternative methods, such as ultrasound breast cancer screening, to identify potentially cancerous growths for women with dense breast tissue.

How is Breast Density Measured?

Breast density is not related to the firmness or size of the breasts, and is not determined by how the breasts feel. Diagnostic mammograms are the best screening method to determine breast density, and our radiologists at The Woman’s Imaging Group in metro Atlanta determine breast density based upon how the breast tissue appears in the imaging pictures.

Following a diagnostic mammogram, our highly skilled radiologists classify breast density in one of four categories:

  1. The breast is almost all fatty tissue, and no denseness is detected.
  2. The breast exhibits some fibrous and glandular tissue, but is mostly fatty tissue.
  3. The breast is heterogeneously dense, and there is more fibrous and glandular tissue than fatty tissue.
  4. The breast is extremely dense, and is almost entirely fibrous and glandular tissue.

Breast Cancer Screening Options for Women with Dense Breasts

The Woman’s Imaging Group provides several imaging services for women with dense breasts, including diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds. A diagnostic mammogram provides the most reliable information to our radiologists.

In our Norcross and Lithia Springs, GA offices, our highly credentialed radiologists use additional imaging tests, such as ultrasound, to create images of the breasts, and may recommend an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging. These imaging methods may help to detect breast cancers in dense breasts when diagnostic mammograms are not clear.

Pink Compass Patient Navigator & Breast Density Screening

Thanks to our Pink Compass Patient Navigation Tool, our patients receive diagnostic mammogram results within one hour of the screening. We encourage our patients to enjoy our relaxing atmosphere, and indulge the senses with aromatherapy heat wraps and gourmet treats while they wait.

Should diagnostic mammograms return inconclusive results, our radiologists may recommend additional breast cancer screenings. Our patients may elect to receive multiple screenings in one visit through our Pink Compass Patient Navigation Tool.

Schedule a Breast Density Screening in Atlanta at The Woman’s Imaging Group

Schedule a breast density screening in one of our conveniently located metro Atlanta locations through our online patient contact form, or contact our locations via telephone: our Norcross location at 678-336-6466.