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Dense Breast Evaluation

Women's Imaging Center in Lake Forest, IL

Having dense breast tissue may increase your risk of breast cancer. The team at Mass Medical Imaging in Lake Forest, Illinois, performs dense breast evaluations to screen for breast cancer. This includes screening mammograms and automated breast ultrasounds (ABUS). Mass Medical Imaging uses advanced testing equipment during a dense breast evaluation, so you get accurate results. Call or schedule your dense breast evaluation online today.

Dense Breast Evaluation Q & A

What is a dense breast?

A dense breast has more glandular tissue than fatty tissue. Dense breasts are common and may occur in women undergoing hormone therapy or who have a low body mass index (BMI). Dense breasts are also inherited.

You can’t tell by a self-breast exam if you have dense breast tissue. Only a radiologist can determine the density of your breast following a screening mammogram. When looking at the images from your mammogram, the radiologist at Mass Medical Imaging classifies your breast as:


  • Fatty breast tissue
  • Scattered fibroglandular breast tissue
  • Heterogeneously dense breast tissue
  • Extremely dense breast tissue

Having dense breast tissue makes it harder for the radiologist to find abnormal breast masses. Dense breast tissue appears more white on the X-ray, making it hard to differentiate between the breast tissue and abnormal growths, which also appear white.


A dense breast evaluation is more in-depth and may find a breast mass not seen on a screening mammogram.


When do I need a dense breast evaluation?

You might need a dense breast evaluation if you have heterogeneously dense breasts or extremely dense breast tissue. Your radiologist notes breast density on your screening mammogram.  

Having dense breast tissue isn’t unusual. However, it’s a risk factor for breast cancer. Because of the additional risk, you may benefit from additional tests and screenings for breast cancer.

You and your primary care provider can discuss whether or not you need a dense breast evaluation.


What tests are part of a dense breast evaluation?

There are several tests the team at Mass Medical Imaging may recommend for a dense breast evaluation. Testing might include:

Diagnostic mammogram

If your screening mammogram shows dense breast tissue, then you may need a diagnostic mammogram. This test is similar to the screening but involves more images that closely look at specific areas of the breast.


Breast tomosynthesis

Breast tomosynthesis is an advanced breast imaging tool. It’s a type of X-ray that takes multiple images of your breast tissue and then reconstructs the images into 3D pictures. 


Breast ultrasound

A breast ultrasound uses ultrasound imaging to look for breast masses in dense breast tissue. 

The team at Mass Medical Imaging also offers automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) testing, which uses high-frequency ultrasound technology to generate multiple images of your breast tissue. 


Breast MRI

A breast MRI is an imaging test that takes detailed pictures of your breast and can find small cancerous tumors not detected using other imaging tools.


Call Mass Medical Imaging or schedule your dense breast evaluation online today.