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Doctor insights on: What Does It Usually Mean When Dense Spots Are Found In A Mammogram

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What does it usually mean when dense spots are found in a mammogram?

What does it usually mean when dense spots are found in a mammogram?

Depends: Breast density on a mammogram can have a lot of meanings. It is a normal and natural finding in younger women, and does not have much meaning. Density can make the mammogram more difficult for the radiologist to read, and they may recommend other tests too, such as an ultrasound. A new density, when comparing a past mammogram to a new one, may mean further evaluation is needed. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
663 Doctors shared insights

Mammogram (Definition)

A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more


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What does this mammogram result mean if dense?

What does this mammogram result mean if dense?

Dense breasts: "Dense" breasts are normal, but decrease the sensitivity of the mammo for detecting cancers. Breasts are dense when there is a increase in normal fibroglandular stroma relative to breast fat. Also, dense breasts are an independent risk factor for developing breast cancer. ...Read more

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What does it mean if there are 6 dense areas on a mammogram, but none on the next mammogram 3 days later?

What does it mean if there are 6 dense areas on a mammogram, but none on the next mammogram 3 days later?

Mammo densities: Sounds like you had several questionable areas on a screening mammo, came back for special diagnostic views for further evaluation, and it was determined that it represented normal tissue. This is a common scenario. Sometimes pockets of normal breast tissue randomly get superimposed on one another on the mammo, making it look like an abnormality might be there. The extra views clear it up. ...Read more

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

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

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. ...Read more

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What does it mean if a new focal asymmetry on screening mammogram "flattened into benign pattern" on diagnostic mammogram? I have very dense breasts.

What does it mean if a new focal asymmetry on screening mammogram "flattened into benign pattern" on diagnostic mammogram? I have very dense breasts.

No abnormality: It generally means that the original appearance on the screening mammogram was due to a coincidental overlapping of normal breast structures, causing the false appearance of a possible abnormality. On the diagnostic images, the overlapping structures spread out and look normal again, proving that the original "abnormality" was not real. A true mass would not flatten or spread out on the diag mammo ...Read more

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I had a screening mammogram an it came back negative but report says heterogeneously dense breast, what does this mean and how accurate are the result?

I had a screening mammogram an it came back negative but report says heterogeneously dense breast, what does this mean and how accurate are the result?

Dense breasts: "Dense" breasts are normal, but decrease the sensitivity of the mammo for detecting cancers. Some studies show that the sensitivity of mammography in this setting can decrease to as low as 50%. Also, dense breasts are an independent risk factor for developing breast cancer, and cancers discovered in women with dense breasts tend to be more advanced. ...Read more

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Breast heaviness, left breast only. Painful exam. Mammogram 2 small areas dense. Does this mean cancer? Started period at 9, stopped at 56. I am 57

Breast heaviness, left breast only. Painful exam. Mammogram 2 small areas dense. Does this mean cancer? Started period at 9, stopped at 56. I am 57

Biopsy: We won't know until after the biopsy, if your breast surgeon recommends one. Some things are followed on ultrasound. Please don't hesitate to follow up with your physician, even if anxious and scared, because breast cancer has a much better prognosis these days with better treatments. They may want an ultrasound and an MRI, although all were neg on one patient I am aware of. ...Read more

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3 to 4 small white spots on mammogram have has assessment had triple assessment waiting on biopsy result tomorrow what can I expect?

3 to 4 small white spots on mammogram have has assessment had triple assessment waiting on biopsy result tomorrow what can I expect?

Not sure I: Entirely understand...you had biopsies of 3 areas? Impossible to tell how suspicious the lesions were based on limited description. Overall, about 75-80% of needle biopsies come back benign. Unfortunately, at this point all you can do is wait for the results. ...Read more

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What are chances of spot in mammogram being cancer?

What are chances of spot in mammogram being cancer?

CHECK BIRADS: Radiologists have adopted a common language to describe mammographic abnormalities, called the birads system (you will see this on your report). A birads 3 abn has a 0.5% risk and is closely watched. A birads 4 (15-30%) or 5 (50-75%) abn should be biopsied to determine if it's a cancer. Birads 0 means that further eval is needed (ultrasound, comparison to prior mamms, etc). I hope this helps! ...Read more

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I am 31, found a hard spot on breast. Have to get a mammogram, anything I can do to prepare myself? I have not heard good things...

I am 31, found a hard spot on breast. Have to get a mammogram, anything I can do to prepare myself? I have not heard good things...

Mammogram: Not much preparation is necessary. Refrain from using deodorant or powder for the mammo, because it may make it look like an abnormality when there is none. You will probably need to wear a patient gown, and you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your breast health history. Not much more to it than that. ...Read more

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What to do if I had a mammogram last year and it showed a spot in my left breast since then my breast is saggy why?

What to do if I had a mammogram last year and it showed a spot in my left breast since then my breast is saggy why?

Mammogram: What was done with the "spot"? Was it biopsied or followed up in any way? If not, please return to your doctor and get this evaluated, especially if you have an unexplained physical change in your breast. ...Read more

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I have pain in the same spot for two years now in my right breast. I have had two mammograms and one ulta sound and was told it was normal.?

I have pain in the same spot for two years now in my right breast. I have had two mammograms and one ulta sound and was told it was normal.?

Mastalgia: Or breast pain may be due to multiple factors: hormonal fluctuations, tight fitting or pushup bras, inflammation, irritation, or manipulation just for starters. 2 years is quite a long time and I suggest hormone testing and a second opinion. ...Read more

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Mammograms shows increase in nodular density left breast. The radiologist can't see. Need spot test and ultrasound help?

Mammograms shows increase in nodular density left breast. The radiologist can't see. Need spot test and ultrasound help?

Advice follow up: You need to follow through with the advice given by the radiologist, as nodular and dense breasts are often hard to "see through". ...Read more

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42 yrs old hx of cyst on right breast drained once dr requested ultrasound on same spot after bad mammogram should I beworried about cancer?

42 yrs old hx of cyst on right breast drained once dr requested ultrasound on same spot after bad mammogram should I beworried about cancer?

No not really: CYSTS ARE BENIGN. THEY AREA COMMON AND QUITE HARMLESS. BREASTS NEED TO BE CHECKED WITH EITHER MAMMOGRAM OR ULTRASOUND. THAT IS WHY YOUR DOCTOR HAS ADVISED YOU TO DO AN ULTRASOUND. SO GO AHEAD WITHOUT ANY WORRY. ...Read more

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Recurring itchy blister in same spot of side Breast everytime. Dr and mammogram are all clearz Responds to hydrocortisone and has happened 4 times?

Recurring itchy blister in same spot of side Breast everytime. Dr and mammogram are all clearz Responds to hydrocortisone and has happened 4 times?

Contact allergy?: Consider an allergic contact allergy to one of the ingredients in your bra with rubber/latex being most likely. Metal allergy also possible if there is a metal wire in the bra. Consult derm or allergist to get patch tested if changing to cotton bra does not help. ...Read more

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Recurring itchy blister on side of breast. Same spot, Happens when hot- responds to hydrocortisone immed- dr said was fine- mammogram was normal. Help?

Recurring itchy blister on side of breast. Same spot, Happens when hot- responds to hydrocortisone immed- dr said was fine- mammogram was normal. Help?

Blister on breast: Most skin problems related to being hot on the breast are from a yeast over growth. Many women have chronic yeast overgrowth under their breasts. Hydrocortisone will make just about anything better for a while as it decreases the itching. Mammograms at your age are hard to read due to the density of the tissue. The next time you have the spot visit a dermatologist. It would be best to see spot. ...Read more

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After routine mammogram, they need additional views. They said I had change in dense areas. I saw alot of white on image.? Is this common at age 53.

After routine mammogram, they need additional views. They said I had change in dense areas. I saw alot of white on image.? Is this common at age 53.

Yes, both: Normal fibroglandular breast tissue and abnormal findings are generally white, so there is white on every mammogram. If there is a lot of white, the breasts are called "dense". This is normal, but dense breasts may make the mammo more difficult to interpret, and there is a greater chance that additional views will be needed. You can have dense breasts at 53. ...Read more

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I'm 49, had yearly mammograms since 35. Today 1st time told. They were dense. Should I ask for more tests?

I'm 49, had yearly mammograms since 35. Today 1st time told. They were dense. Should I ask for more tests?

Likely not: Likely not. If the radiologist saw something suspicious on he mammogram they would have asked you to do extra mammogram imaging. The report will give a birads number. Birads 1 and 2 are normal. Birads 3 and above are concerning. If you have concerns then I suggest talking to your doctor! ...Read more

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Mammogram shows Heterogeneously dense which may obsure small masses Birads 2 both breast no suspicious masses why is my dr sending me for a ultrasound?

Mammogram shows Heterogeneously dense which may obsure small masses Birads 2 both breast no suspicious masses why is my dr sending me for a ultrasound?

Dense: Breasts lower the sensitivity of mammography for detecting cancers, by some studies to as low as 50%. Adding screening ultrasound in this setting may improve cancer detection. This is an evolving issue in the breast imaging community and there is currently no clear consensus. ...Read more

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I'm 55 and have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive?

I'm 55 and have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive?

Define INCONCLUSIVE: After having a mammogram, the report should include a follow-up plan, listed as a birads code. This will spell out exactly what the next step should be: immediate further testing (ultrasound, compression mamm, mri), short-term follow-up, biopsy, etc. If you don't have a clear understanding of the next steps, please talk to the doctor who ordered your mammogram or see a breast specialist. Good luck. ...Read more

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I have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive. Should I write my will?

I have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive. Should I write my will?

No: This means that the mammogram did not provide enough information because your breasts a difficult for the x-rays to penetrate. Contact your doctor or radiologist to see what is the next step. Most likely you will need a ultrasound as the next step. When you have cystic breasts, it is common to require additional pictures beyond a mammogram. ...Read more

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What is breast tissue dense breast tissue pleaz help got my mammogram back it said I have dense breast tissues what is that?

Dense Breasts: Dense breasts are common in younger women. It is a term meaning that you have more fibrous tissue and not much fatty tissue. It is common and not considered abnormal. ...Read more

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I had a mammogram and ultrasound recently the outcome was negative but dense (cyst) breast. Should I be concern?

I had a mammogram and ultrasound recently the outcome was negative but dense (cyst) breast. Should I be concern?

See Breast surgeon: Fibrocystic or dense breasts are common in women. If strong family history or positive brca gene then close monitoring and follow-up examinations will be required. Otherwise continue with yearly mammogram/ultrasound. See your breast surgeon if any concerns. ...Read more

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My mammogram was negative no lumps or masses found. Why would my doctor recommend an ultrasound? They did say I had dense breasts. Very nervous

My mammogram was negative no lumps or masses found. Why would my doctor recommend an ultrasound? They did say I had dense breasts. Very nervous

Not sure...: I'm a breast radiologist. Something doesn't make sense. In the absence of symptoms (with negative mammo and physical exam), there is no indication for a diagnostic ultrasound. What occasionally happens is something worded in the mammogram report makes the referring physician uncomfortable and additional testing is unnecessarily ordered. I would call to clarify, but I wouldn't worry if I were you. ...Read more

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Mom mammogram done and has been asked to Come in for more images aday later. She has dense tissue in her earlier mammo. What's reason to call her again?

Mom mammogram done and has been asked to Come in for more images aday later. She has dense tissue in her earlier mammo. What's reason to call her again?

Additional imaging: To further evaluate a potential abnormality, or an area not clearly visualized, occurs in about 10% of all screening mammograms (and probably at least 15% of baselines). 80% of the time it turns out to be nothing of concern. Of the remainder that go to biopsy, 80% of those turn out benign. So the odds favor a benign etiology, but in a small percentage of cases there is a cancer. ...Read more

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Details mammogram result word for word wife just had a mammogram which reads: a moderately dense stromal pattern is noted. Occassional benign type calcifications noted. No suspicious microcalcifications, architectural distortion or dominant mass. No skin

Details mammogram result word for word wife just had a mammogram which reads: a moderately dense stromal pattern is noted. Occassional benign type calcifications noted. No suspicious microcalcifications, architectural distortion or dominant mass. No skin

OK: Above wordings on a mammogram indicate that the radiologist did not identify any sucious findings on this mammogram. Usually they assign a category number. If they assigned a category 1 or 2 then she can repeat her mammogram in one year. But please clarify the findings with your health care provider. Please also realize that even with a normal mammogram a clinical breast exam is also avisable. Some clinical fndings may not be seen on the mammogram. ...Read more

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Can an area of dense breast tissue just appear within a year of a mammogram and can the area disappear?

Can an area of dense breast tissue just appear within a year of a mammogram and can the area disappear?

Yes: Dense breast tissue can come and go depending on when the mammogram was performed as it relates to your menstrual cycle. Changes in weight can also effect breast density as well as the technical issue of how much the breast was compressed (squeezed) when the mammogram was performed. Lots of variables. ...Read more