Is a Mammogram Enough?
Breast Test: How Dense Are Yours?
You can have dense breasts whether you hook up a D-cup bra or fit into an AA. The size and shape of your breasts don't provide much of a clue to the kind of breast tissue you have. Instead, "breast density" refers to the amount of different kinds of breast tissue you have. The denser your breasts, the greater your chance of developing breast cancer, even when other risk factors are absent. Every woman falls into one of four categories, from the least dense ("mostly fatty") to the most ("extremely dense"). Mammogram results now routinely note this crucial information, so ask your doctor where you are on the spectrum.
More than half of women under 50 and almost a third over 50 have somewhat-to-very-dense breasts. "For these women, digital mammography is significantly better than film," says Dr. Pisano.