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I’ve heard news reports recently about new regulations on breast cancer screening for women with dense breasts. What does that mean? What could that mean for me?

Sometimes women are told they have “dense breasts.” This means that they have a greater proportion of fibrous tissue in their breasts. In the past, women with dense breasts were told that they had “fibrocystic breasts” or “fibrocystic breast disease.” In fact, dense breasts are normal but the presence of the fibrous tissue may make mammograms less sensitive to the changes in a woman’s breasts. Starting in April this year, radiologists are making comments on mammogram reports regarding the density of the woman’s breasts. The woman and her healthcare provider can then consider whether or not other imaging methods (MRI for example) might be useful.

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