Are You Dense? Why Yes,Yes I Am: The Most Important Blog Post I Will Ever Write

18 Apr

dunce

I confess, I am dense. I just found out that I am dense last year. My density came to me in a letter no less. I am not talking about my smarts, but rather I am talking about my breast density. My last mammogram report stated I have dense breast tissue. Below is a picture of the USA, if you live in the pink states, a law is in effect to tell you your breast density when you have a mammogram.

states

The law in Texas is called Henda’s Law. Henda’s Law – named for Henda Salmeron, a Dallas Realtor and breast cancer survivor who led efforts to pass the legislation – requires mammography providers to notify patients with dense breast tissue that their mammogram may be less accurate than that of women with lower breast density. The law states: “If your mammogram demonstrates that you have dense breast tissue, which could hide abnormalities, and you have other risk factors for breast cancer that have been identified, you might benefit from supplemental screening tests that may be suggested by your ordering physician.”

Breast Density is a measure of the amount of breast tissue a woman has. The more tissue, the greater the density and the higher the risk of breast cancer. However, in women with dense breast tissue, mammograms are not as effective in detecting the cancer. This is because both breast tissue and breast cancer will appear white on a mammogram and the lack of contrast makes identification of the cancer more difficult.

The mammogram picture below shows someone with dense breast that has a tumor. It has been circled in pink. See how difficult it is to see.

dense breast

Here is a mammogram of a tumor in a regular breast and a dense breast.

dense breast 2

What to do if you have dense breasts?

Ask your doctor about having additional screening studies such as an ultrasound or breast MRI. For more information visit http://areyoudense.org.

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