For more information, call: 877-CENTEGRA

Breast Density Information

Do you have dense breasts?

A new Illinois law that began Jan. 1, 2014 requires hospitals to notify a woman if her mammogram shows she has dense breasts. According to the law, Centegra Health System must notify women if a radiologist notes her breast tissue is dense. Here are some frequently asked questions about breast density.

Q: What are dense breasts?

A: Dense breasts have more connective tissue than fatty tissue. Dense tissue appears white on a mammogram. This includes collagen and supporting tissue as well as ductal tissue. Fatty tissue appears gray on a mammogram.

Q: Should I be worried if I have dense breasts?

A: In short, no. Up to 50 percent of women who receive mammograms have dense breast tissue. Although dense breasts are not abnormal, they can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram. Some studies have also shown that dense breast tissue may increase your breast cancer risk. Breast density is not a major breast cancer risk factor.

Q: What can I do if I have dense breasts?

A: Talk to your doctor about what is right for you. Your doctor may describe additional screening such as 3-D mammogram, breast MRI or breast ultrasound. He or she may also ask you to simply keep up with annual mammograms and clinical breast exams during your yearly check-up.

Q: What is 3-D mammography?

A: Centegra offers 3-D mammography known as tomosynthesis to help board-certified radiologists closely view dense breast tissue. Located at the Centegra Gavers Breast Center, this new technology captures multiple images of the breast at different angles to provide a reconstructed 3-D image of the breast. Tomosynthesis allows radiologists to evaluate breast tissue in one-millimeter slices.

If you have additional questions about your mammogram results and breast density, please provide your information below and we will be happy to contact you.

Breast Density Information Form