A woman’s breasts are of two types – the ones which have fatty tissue and the ones which have dense tissue. The breasts which have dense tissues are known as dense breasts and this is quite a common condition among women, because almost 40% of women who get mammography done come up with results that show breasts which are dense. Usually having denser breasts is not a problem, but if other risk factors associated with cancer are also present, then it is necessary to take precautions.
There are many risk factors which increase the possibility of cancer if a woman has dense breast tissue. Let us look at the factors which strongly increase the possibility of breast cancer in women:
- If the woman is of age 60 years or more
- If the woman has any disease causing genetic mutations for breast cancer
- If any family members have any known disease causing genetic mutations for breast cancer
- If the woman was diagnosed for breast cancer before the age of 40
- If the woman has two or more first degree relatives i.e. mother, sister or daughter who was diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50
- If the woman has had high dose radiation treatment to the chest before the age of 30
- If the woman has a personal history of ovarian cancer
- If the woman has a personal history of lobular carcinoma in situ
If you have one or more of the above mentioned risk factors along with increased breast density, then you should get screening for breast cancer done as recommended by a physician. The main and most common screening test for breast cancer is breast mammography. However, in denser breasts this test is usually unsuccessful in differentiating between normal and cancerous tissues. In this case, you may also have to get breast ultrasound and breast MRI done.