Breasts are made up of a mixture of fibrous, glandular and fatty tissues. A woman’s breasts are considered dense if they have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue but not much fat. Density usually decreases with age. Breast density is determined by the radiologist who reads a mammogram and will be included in the imaging report. In fact, under the New Jersey breast density law enacted last year, reports must include information about breast density. The legislation also requires insurers to cover follow-up evaluations, such as ultrasound or MRI, in women with dense breast tissue.

For more information about the NJ Breast Density Law, watch the video below.



Why is breast density important?
Dense breasts do make it more difficult for doctors to spot cancer on mammograms. Having dense breast tissue may increase an individual’s risk of getting breast cancer.

If I have dense breasts, do I still need a mammogram?
Yes, a mammogram is the only medical imaging screening test proven to reduce breast cancer deaths. Many cancers are seen on mammograms even if an individual has dense breast tissue.

What should I do if I have dense breasts?
Women with dense breasts should talk to their doctor. Together, they can decide which, if any, additional screening exams are right for their situation.

For a referral to a Barnabas Health primary care physician or breast specialist, call 1-888-724-7123.