It is Carolina Radiology’s policy to inform patients whose mammograms show that they have dense breast tissue. This is required by law in South Carolina and many other states. Patients with dense breasts may be at somewhat higher risk of developing breast cancer. Dense breast tissue also makes it more difficult for doctors to spot possibly cancerous tissue on a mammogram.
Dense breast tissue is not an abnormality. Depending on age and physiological characteristics, approximately 40 to 60 percent of women have dense breast tissue during at least part of their lives. Every patient who receives a notification with her mammogram results that she has dense breasts should have a conversation with her primary care physician or gynecologist about whether additional screenings, such as 3D mammography, breast MRI, or breast ultrasound, may be warranted.