Hav­ing dense breasts is a big prob­lem.

SHAPE (USA) - - Health Wise -

If you have dense breasts, mean­ing they have more fi­brous and glan­du­lar tis­sue and less fatty tis­sue, you won’t know that un­til you start hav­ing mam­mo­grams. Most states are re­quired by law to tell you if you have them, but you can also just ask dur­ing your ap­point­ment. It’s im­por­tant knowl­edge to have be­cause women with dense breasts have a slightly higher risk of de­vel­op­ing can­cer (about 1.2 times more than other women), and the dis­ease is harder to spot in dense breast tis­sue, ex­plains El­iz­a­beth Mor­ris, M.D., a Breast Can­cer Re­search Foun­da­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tor and the chief of the Breast Imag­ing Ser­vice at Memo­rial Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter in New York. That’s why some women get a se­cond screen­ing, like a breast ul­tra­sound or an MRI. “But not all women with dense breasts need ad­di­tional tests—only those with ex­tremely dense breasts or cer­tain pat­terns of den­sity,” Dr. Mor­ris says. Bot­tom line: It’s an in­di­vid­ual de­ci­sion your doc­tor will help you make.

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