Well Being

You Should Find Out How Dense Your Breasts Are

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breast density

This woman looks so stoked about her mammogram.

Did you totally grope your own bosom for a second? I did, but it was a fruitless endeavor because breast density is not something you can feel with your hands. When it comes to breast density, as Women's Health's Casey Geueren puts it,  “you can't feel this out on your own, you might find out about it at your next screening: Many states have adopted breast density notification laws, which require physicians to inform a patient if they have dense breasts.”

Debra Ikeda, M.D., professor of radiology at Stanford School of Medicine names two reasons why breast density is important:

1) “There's an association between dense breast tissue and a slightly higher risk of having breast cancer,” but still less of a risk than genetic factors.

2)  Masking which is what happens when dense breast tissue appears white on mammograms. Masking makes detecting cancer more difficult, but don't fret, recent studies suggest that it's less of an issue when employing digital rather than film screen mammograms. Yay for progress.

If you do have dense breasts, there's no reason to freak out; about half of us do and it doesn't necessarily mean anything significant. Find out if you have a dense set and keep it in mind when you talk to your doctor about your breasts. You may need additional screening, but you may not.

via ABC News//Image via Shutterstock