Greensboro, NC -- Just how dense are you? Don't be offended, that's just the question Dr. Margaret Bertrand asks to get your attention.
Dr. Betrand, the breast cancer survivor and Medical Director of Solis Women's Health wants women to ask more questions, specifically about their breast density. Dr. Bertrand talked about breast density live on our 5pm newscast Tuesday.
Dr. Bertrand says breasts contain fatty tissue, glandular tissue and fibrous tissue. Density is the ratio of fibroglandular breast tissue to the fatty tissue. If 50% of the breast is made up of the fibrograndular tissue it is considered "dense".
Research had linked dense breast tissue to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. To complicate things, dense breasts may impair the accuracy of the mammogram interpretation. Here's why: fibrograndular tissue and cancers both show up "white" on a mammogram.
Every woman should know if they have dense breasts, but not all doctors tell their patients. It is in radiologists report when a mammogram is done, but most patients don't know they need to ask. Dr. Bertrand says it will be on your paperwork the next time you get your mammogram and you should ask your doctor about it.
But, she says it's important for patients to know they will probably always need extra testing and to ask questions.