Women Need More Education About Dense Breast Tissue

Breast cancer is a condition that affects about 246,000 American women each year. About 40,000 women ultimately die from this cause over the course of any given year. Courtesy of strong awareness programs and a concerted effort on the part of healthcare providers, many women are battling this disease head on by undergoing routine screening. Some of these women will be told they have “dense breast tissue.” This condition isn’t uncommon, but it’s one women may not fully understand or act upon. A failure to understand the potential ramifications can be serious.

A recent study conducted in the United States gave rise to concerns that women may require more education about this common condition. Dense breasts are those that have more glandular and fibrous tissue than fatty tissue. While the condition isn’t dangerous on its own, it can make detecting breast cancer more difficult. It also does increase a woman’s risk for contracting this disease.

To better gauge how informed women were about dense breast tissue, researchers conducted a random survey involving more than 1,000 women. Women were asked questions about breast density, cancer risks and mammograms. Researchers ultimately found that women knew about the condition, but were not necessarily up to speed on the potential risks it posed. In addition to raising the risks for breast cancer, dense breast tissue can also impede the effectiveness of mammograms. That means women with dense breasts may require other screening tests to stay ahead of this disease.

All women are at risk for the development of breast cancer over the course of their lifetimes. While the disease is most commonly diagnosed in older women, young women may also face this diagnosis. With that in mind, it is recommended that all women discuss this condition and their risks with their healthcare providers. Women who have been diagnosed with dense breast tissue should also talk to their doctors about extra measures they may need to take in regard to early screening and prevention.

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