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  • Michelle Yarn

Breast Density Awareness: What You Need To Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and while we may know that breast cancer is a very real risk, there’s another important factor to consider - breast density. Many women do not know they have dense breasts and if they do, they may be unsure what it means and what they should do.

Nearly half of American women have dense breast tissue. It’s completely normal, especially in younger women, nut it totally changes the way we should be thinking about breast cancer and breast cancer screening. Breast tissue is considered dense when it contains more fibroglandular tissue than fatty. That’s the fibrous tissue made up of connective tissue that give strength and resilience and glandular tissue like milk ducts. The problem is that dense tissue can mask cancer as both appear white on mammograms, making it difficult to detect the difference.

Luckily, there are some options to help. 28 states so far have passed Breast Density Notification Laws. While each law differs by state, most require physicians to notify patients of their breast density after getting a mammogram.

So, if your doctor has told you that you have dense breast tissue, you may want to consider other secondary screening methods. Ever heard of molecular breast imaging - or MBI? It’s one of the most effective supplemental screening tools for early detection of breast cancer. It isn’t limited by dense breast tissue like the other secondary screening methods. LumaGEM MBI is safe, fast and accurate. It allows women to be certain about their breast health. It takes about 30 minutes to complete and you may even be able to have your results by the time you leave the facility.

And the results are pretty significant! According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)/August Edition, MBI detects cancers in approximately 8 women per thousand screened, in cases where the women with dense breasts who already had a mammogram which found nothing suspicious.

Mammography has a cancer detection rate of only 4 cancers detected per thousand women screened and in dense breast women this number falls to 3.

That means MBI detects more than twice the number of cancers compared to mammography.

And, when added to mammography, MBI will more than triple the chances of catching aggressive breast cancers early - all while keeping the biopsies to a minimum.

You can learn more about all of this at And this October, let’s make breast cancer awareness month about breast density awareness, too!


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