Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology P.C

If You Have Dense Breast Tissue, You Can Improve Cancer Detection with This Simple Test

Jun 01, 2023

Your breasts are an integral part of your body and sometimes even your identity. But how well do you understand your breasts, especially regarding breast density and your health?

If you have dense breasts, you have more glandular and connective tissue and less fatty tissue. Dense breasts can make it harder to spot cancer on a regular mammogram.

At Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology in Rochester Hills, Lenox, and Troy, Michigan, our skilled team of OB/GYNs and medical professionals believe in providing you with the proper knowledge to guide your health care decisions. 

Here, we unpack the limitations of mammograms and how a simple yet powerful test could vastly improve cancer detection.

The connection between breast density and cancer

Research shows that women with dense breasts are 4-5 times more likely to get breast cancer than women with low breast density. 

One explanation for this is that the extra cells in denser breasts may potentially increase the likelihood of cells becoming cancerous. Additionally, dense tissue can make it harder to spot potential issues on mammograms.

Mammograms have limitations

For several decades, mammograms have been the gold standard in breast cancer screening. They're like X-rays for your breasts, helping detect cancer early when it's most treatable. 

But here's the catch: Both dense breast tissue and cancerous tumors show up as white areas on a mammogram. That's why, if you have dense breasts, you might need an additional test to increase the chances of catching any potential cancers.

How Automated Breast Ultrasound can help

Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) is a game-changer for women with dense breasts. Unlike a mammogram, which uses X-rays, ABUS uses sound waves to create 3D images of your breasts.

This amazing technology gives us a more detailed view of dense breasts, boosting the odds of spotting cancers early. By enhancing detection, ABUS empowers women with crucial knowledge about their breast health, opening doors for timely interventions and personalized treatments.

What to expect from the test

The ABUS test is pretty straightforward and should be comfortable for most women. We ask you to lie down then spread a lotion over your breasts. 

The lotion aids in the passage of sound waves from the device into your breast tissue. Next a scanner gently moves over your breasts, taking thousands of images. Best of all? There's no radiation involved.

The procedure generally takes about 15 minutes. Afterward, we review the 3D images for any signs of abnormalities.

At Oakland Macomb Obstetrics & Gynecology, we're committed to staying on the cutting edge of technology that empowers our patients. Knowing you have dense breasts is not a problem — it's a critical piece of information that helps us provide the best care for you.

All women, especially those over the age of 40 or those with a family history of breast cancer, should have regular mammograms. But if you have dense breasts, ABUS can be particularly beneficial. Book your appointment online, or call us today to get started.