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"Why Every Woman Should Know Her Breast Density" - Cassie Shortsleeve

  • Shape Magazine
  • New York, NY
  • (2017-10-20 00:00:00.0)

When you think about breast cancer screening, one word usually comes to mind: mammogram. But for about half of the women in this country, this traditional measure of testing might not be enough. That's because roughly 50 percent of women in the U.S. have what's called dense breasts, a description that refers to the amount of fibroglandular tissue versus fat in the breast—a factor that impacts both cancer risk and detection, explained Laurie Margolies, MD, professor of radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of breast imaging at the Dubin Breast Center of The Mount Sinai Hospital. Women with the densest breasts are five to six times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with the lowest breast density, Dr. Margolies said. Fatty breast tissue is ideal for a mammogram. "The cancer shows as a white spot and it's easy to see in a gray background. As we hit menopause, fatty tissue increases and fibroglandular tissue decreases," added Dr. Margolies.

- Laurie Margolies, MD, Professor, Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director of Breast Imaging, Dubin Breast Center of The Mount Sinai Hospital

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