RESEARCH: Dense Breast Tissue Reduces Ability of Mammography to Detect Cancer
- The tissue of the breast is composed of fat and the fibroglandular, or dense, tissue that makes up the system of ducts and connective tissue in the breast.
- Fat will appear black on the mammographic image and dense tissue will appear white.
- Since cancers also appear white on the mammogram, small cancers are often hidden or obscured by the tissue density, reducing the sensitivity of the mammogram. While digital mammography has been shown to provide improvement over film screen mammography, the data indicates that mammography misses as many as half of the cancers in women with the two highest density patterns.
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