Are You Dense? What is Dense Breast Tissue?
Dense breast tissue is comprised of less fat and more connective tissue which appears white on a mammogram. Cancer also appears white on a mammogram thus tumors are often hidden behind the dense tissue. As a woman ages, her breasts usually become more fatty.
A radiologist determines the density of a woman's breasts by examining a mammogram. Request a copy of your mammography report from your referring doctor. Make sure it is the report that is generated from the radiologist and not a form letter. Read the report carefully. Look for descriptions of your breast tissue.
Know your breasts. Examine them often and discuss any changes to your breasts with your health care provider. Annually, have your health professional conduct a thorough breast exam.
Talk to your doctor about having an ultrasound or breast MRI. Connecticut General Statute Sections 38a-503 and 38a-530 requires insurance companies to provide coverage for comprehensive ultrasound screening of an entire breast or breasts if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue based on the BIRADS (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System) established by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Additional legislation requires that women in Connecticut are informed of their breast density when they receive their mammography report. To determine the laws in your state, contact your state representative or public health department.
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