Sunday, October 25, 2009

Know Your Breast Density Classification To Understand Your Risk

After age, breast density is the most significant risk factor for breast cancer. Your breast density is evident in the results of your mammogram.

All you have to do is ask the radiologist or your doctor what the mammogram indicates about your breast density. You can even ask to look at the images. It's probably good to know your level of risk.

Mine were categorized as "very dense". But I didn't learn this until after I was diagnosed. If I had known this earlier and the connection between breast density and breast cancer, I most certainly would have pushed my Doctor to send me for a mammogram when I first found my lump.

Here's a link with visuals to information about breast density. And this article explains my question about what it is about breast density that is associated with the actual risk.

Small or large breasts can be dense. I'm told you can't tell by feel or sight how dense they are, though I've seen many accounts of dense breasts being more solid and "perkier", which makes sense and is my experience.

Also worth noting, if you do have dense breasts, the new digital imaging mammograms are the way to go. The older technology is not as good at finding lumps in women with dense breasts because breast density shows up as white and lumps also show up as white in the radiograms. I see that the screening centre in Saskatoon just announced that they now have digital equipment. Good to know.

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