All breasts contain glands, fibrous tissue, and fat. Dense tissue is made of glands and fibrous tissue referred to as "fibroglandular" tissue. Dense tissue blocks x-rays and therefore shows up white on a mammogram.
What does the inside of the breast look like? This illustration shows the makeup of breast anatomy both inside and outside. This information will help you visualize what parts of the breast your doctor is referring to.
Dense breast tissue is detected on a mammogram. Additional imaging tests are sometimes recommended for women with dense breasts. If a recent mammogram showed you have dense breast tissue, you may wonder what this means for your breast cancer risk. Doctors know dense breast tissue makes breast cancer screening more difficult and it increases the risk of breast cancer.
Dense breasts have less fatty tissue and more non-fatty tissue compared to breasts that aren't dense. Dense breasts have more gland tissue that makes and drains milk and supportive tissue also called stroma that surrounds the gland. Breast density can be inherited, so if your mother has dense breasts, it's likely you will, too.
Scattered fibroglandular tissue refers to the density and composition of your breasts. A woman with scattered fibroglandular breast tissue has breasts made up mostly of non-dense tissue with some areas of dense tissue. About 40 percent of women have this type of breast tissue.
Breasts are the same in men and women until puberty. They also have connective tissue, which includes adipose fatty tissue. These tissues make up the shape of your breasts.
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Breast density is a proportional measure of the glandular, connective and fatty tissues within a woman's breasts. It is most commonly determined using mammography, a diagnostic test that uses low dose x-rays. Having dense breasts is not an abnormal condition; in fact, about half of all women over 40 have dense breasts.
The idea was originally met with scepticism, but consensus now is that it is indeed a true risk element and of interest to screening mammography. Essentially, breast density is a comparison of the relative amounts of fat versus fibroglandular tissues in the breast. Fibroglandular parenchyma, basically means breast tissue.