Are you dense? Do you need an ultrasound? 

Are you dense? About 50% of women over 40 have dense breasts and are at higher risk for breast cancer. Ultrasound improves detection for women with dense breasts.

Katie Couric recently shared her story of early detection and revealed she had an ultrasound with her mammogram because of her dense breasts. Since her story came out, our phones at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care have been ringing with lots of questions regarding breast density.

Keep in mind

  • Breast density is determined by your mammogram and will be indicated on your mammogram report. Know your breast density
  • Density can change over time as it may be different from year to year
  • Ultrasound is beneficial for women with dense breasts because dense breast tissue is more difficult to see on a mammogram alone

Examples showing breast density types on a mammogram, Dense breast tissue may hide small cancers

Each time you have a mammogram, your radiologist reviews your breast density for two reasons

  • Dense breasts have a higher chance of developing breast cancer
  • It is more difficult to find breast cancers in dense breasts compared with fatty breasts. The dense breast tissue shows up white on a mammogram and may hide cancer and other abnormalities, making the mammogram more difficult to read

For these reasons, most states, including New York, require that radiologists include your breast density with your mammography results

If you want to know your breast density, please refer to your most recent mammogram report. Your reports are available on the patient portal, EWBC APP, or give us a call at 585-442-2190

Watch our videos on breast density

Mammogram Minute: Are You Dense? Who Needs an Ultrasound? (Dr. Stamatia Destounis explains)

What is breast density?

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