Dense Breast Tissue

When you have a mammogram, you may be told you have dense breasts. But what does that mean, exactly? Let's take a few minutes to learn more.

Types of breast tissue

First, what are breasts made of? Breasts are made of three types of tissue. There's glandular tissue. This includes the lobes (which make the milk) and the milk ducts (which carry it to the nipple). Next, there's fibrous tissue. It holds the structures of the breast in place. And finally, there's fatty tissue. It fills in all the spaces between the other tissues in the breast.

Breast density

When you have dense breasts, your breasts have a lot of glandular and fibrous tissue and less fat. That's natural. Different women have different breast densities. Your breast density can even change over time.


Are dense breasts a problem? When you have dense breasts, you have a higher risk for breast cancer. And having dense breasts makes it harder for to see tumors on your mammogram. So if you have dense breasts, we may use other screening methods in addition to mammograms. For more info, talk to your doctor.