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A 43-year-old female asked:

Just had a mammogram, the result says breast is heterogenously dense, which may obscure small masses, there is an indeterminate asymmetry seen in the right breast, what does it mean?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Probably OK: Standards for mammography results recently changed, with expert guidelines now advising that patients be informed if dense tissue makes it harder to see small abnormalties. However, the risk of this usually is very low. If you are at special risk (e.g. strong family history of breast cancer), your insurance may cover MRI to assure all is well. Discuss with your doctor and/or the radiologist.
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Provided original answer
The guideline to include this statement for dense breast tissue is controversial. Many radiologists believe it creates more anxiety than necessary with probably little benefit in preventing or early detection of breast cancer -- exactly as you have experienced.
Sep 1, 2019
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Provided original answer
I discussed this with a radiology colleague who is a mammography expert. She advises that the "indeterminate asymmetry" could be important and requires further evaluation. For sure follow-up with your doctor and/or the mammography facility. Good luck!
Sep 1, 2019
Last updated Sep 3, 2019

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