Breast Cancer Screenings for Women With Dense Breast Tissue
If you have dense breast tissue, a routine mammogram may be only one part of your plan to detect breast cancer.
Breasts contain three different types of tissue—connective, fatty and glandular. Dense breasts have lower amounts of fatty breast tissue and higher amounts of glandular tissue and fibrous connective tissue. Only a radiologist can determine if you have dense breasts after looking at your mammogram.
Around 50% of women ages 40 and older who have mammograms have dense breast tissue. Younger women, those using hormone replacement therapy, women who have not had children and women with a lower weight are more likely to have dense breast tissue.
Unfortunately, dense breast tissue increases your risk of breast cancer and also makes it harder to determine what is and isn’t a tumor on a mammogram, according to the National Cancer Institute.
3D mammograms, breast ultrasounds and other options for women with dense breasts
Most women should begin routine breast cancer screenings at age 40. Women with a family history of cancer or those who know they are at a high risk for the disease may want to begin screenings earlier. If you fall into the latter category, speak with your doctor about the optimal time for you to begin regular breast cancer screenings.
If your first mammogram indicates that you have dense breast tissue, talk with your doctor about these additional screening options:
- A 3D mammogram gives radiologists a clearer, more complete picture of the entire internal structure of the breast, making it a great option for women with dense breast tissue.
- A breast ultrasound, often performed in conjunction with a mammogram, may show additional detail that doctors and radiologists use to distinguish between cysts and tumors.
- A breast MRI is often used for screening women at high risk for breast cancer.
Affordable breast cancer screenings
The cost of a regular mammogram is required to be covered by insurance carriers under the Affordable Care Act for all women beginning at the age of 40. Many insurance providers may also cover a 3D mammogram if a physician has noted that a woman has dense breast tissue. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover 3D mammography, the scan may be worth the additional cost. 3D mammograms may also help you avoid a second mammogram to clarify a benign spot, so you may actually save time, stress and money. And if you do have breast cancer, a 3D mammogram may allow you to detect it earlier, which increases your likelihood of survival.
Touchstone Medical Imaging makes breast cancer screening easy
Feel confident in your decision to trust Touchstone Medical Imaging for your breast imaging services. Our compassionate, certified technologists use some of the industry’s most innovative imaging technology and deliver a comfortable, personalized experience to thousands of women each year. Fellowship-trained, subspecialty radiologists follow methodical processes for breast imaging to ensure we provide precise, reliable and timely information to your doctor.
With multiple locations in three states and flexible hours, Touchstone Medical Imaging makes it easy for women with dense breast tissue to get a 3D mammogram when it’s convenient. Our experienced staff will quickly get you in for the screening while delivering a calming experience and addressing any questions you may have about the study.
Touchstone Medical Imaging has centers throughout Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas that offer 3D mammograms. Make an appointment for a 3D mammogram at a convenient Touchstone Medical Imaging center near you.