WHAT IS DENSE BREAST TISSUE?

Breast Density is determined by the tissue differences of the breast. Fat does not show up on a mammogram, but fibrous and glandular tissue, or dense tissue, shows up white, as does cancer, making cancer hard to detect.

The photo on the left is a mammogram of a very fatty breast with a cancerous tumor. You can see how easy it is to spot. The mammogram on the right is of a an extremely dense breast. It is easy to imagine how hard It would be to detect cancer in this image.

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AWARENESS

Approximatly 50% of the women in Iowa have dense breast tissue. Are you one of them? Chances are you don’t know.

IDENTIFICATION

Dense Breast tissue cannot be felt by you or your physician. It can only be determined by visualization on mammogram.

INCREASED RISK

In women with extremely dense tissue, cancer is 4-6 times more likely than in women with fatty breasts. Dense breast tissue is a stronger predictor for breast cancer than family history.

MASKING

Dense tissue shows up white on a mammogram- so does cancer, making it difficult to detect. In dense breasts, mammograms will miss 50% of cancers present, delaying diagnosis.

HOW TO DETERMINE BREAST DENSITY

Find out if you have dense breast tissue by contacting your mammography center. In many cases, your physician may not know.

A and B are considered fatty or not dense. C and D are considered Dense.

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NOW WHAT?

If you find out you have heterogeneously dense or extremely dense tissue, speak to your physician about adding addition tests to your mammogram such as ultrasound, breast MRI, or MBI. Educate yourself on density and be prepared to advocate for yourself.

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

There are many things we can do to decrease the risk of breast cancer including regular exercise, stop smoking, limiting alcohol, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight.

IOWA LAW

Beginning January 1, 2018 Iowa law will require that information regarding breast density be included in mammogram result letters mailed to the patient.

  1. 1. Every woman getting a mammogram will be informed of her density category:
    1. a. Fatty
    2. b. Scattered Fibroglandular Density
    3. c. Heterogeneously Dense
    4. d. Extremely Dense
  2. 2. Every woman categorized as:
    1. c. Heterogeneously Dense
    2. d. Extremely Dense
  3. will receive additional information noting the following:
    Having dense breast tissue puts one at an increased risk for breast cancer. Having dense breast tissue masks cancer on a mammogram making it difficult to detect.
Iowa Army of Pink

Get involved - Help us spread awareness on breast density. Tell others, talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about the impact of breast density on screening mammography.

Help us spread awareness by joining Iowa Army of Pink - email us or join our facebook group.

Buy a Breast Density Awareness t-shirt below:

T-SHIRTS

DESIGN:

T-Shirt Front

FRONT

T-Shirt Back

BACK

STYLES:

Unisex T-Shirt

UNISEX T-SHIRT ($24)

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Ladies T-Shirt

LADIES CUT T-SHIRT ($24)

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Dry Fit T-Shirt

DRY FIT T-SHIRT ($27)

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Long Sleeve T-Shirt

LONG SLEEVE UNISEX ($27)

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RESOURCES

DENSE BREAST INFO

Comprehensive dense breast tissue resource for women and physicians.

ARE YOU DENSE?

General breast density resource.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

Regular mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early.

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY

Not sure if you have dense breasts? Why does it matter?


MAYO CLINIC

Dense breast tissue: What it means to have dense breasts



MEDICAL CME

Link to medical CME for physicians, nurses, and radiation technologists.