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A 39-year-old member asked:

When they say dense breasts, do mammogram techs mean fat?

5 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shelby Terstriep
Internal Medicine 21 years experience
No-opposite: Typically it means there is not as much fat. As we age and have less estrogen the breasts get fatty replaced which makes them not as dense and easier to see abnormalities on the mammogram.
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 24 years experience
NO, the opposite: Dense breasts have less fatty tissue and more non-fatty tissue compared to breasts that aren't dense. Dense breasts have more gland tissue and especially more supportive tissue (also called stroma) that surrounds the gland.
Dr. Paul Slawek
Radiology 55 years experience
NO: Fatty breast are not dense. Fat is easy to see through on mammography and cancer detection is easier. Dense breast contain material, fibroglandular elements, that are hard to see through on mammography thus the mammogram is less reliable in dense breasts.
Dr. Michael Korona
Radiology - Interventional 34 years experience
No: Fat does the opposite. Fibroglandular tissue make breasts dense.
Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology 34 years experience
No: The opposite. Breasts are composed of fibroglandular stroma and fat. It is the fibroglandular part that shows up as white, or dense, on the mammogram.
Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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