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Monday, 22 June 2015 16:50 Written by MIguel Velazquez
Breast Density and Your Mammogram

Breast Density and Your Mammogram

Breast density is a measure of how the breasts look on a mammogram, not how your breasts feel. Dense breast tissue is not abnormal but it can make interpretation of your mammogram difficult. The breasts normally contain fatty, fibrous (connective) and glandular tissue. The fibrous and glandular tissues appear white on the mammogram. Fatty tissue is black, and the contrast provided by the fatty tissue allows the radiologist to identify abnormal areas. The pockets of fibroglandular tissue surrounded by fat create an image that resembles a smoky haze on the mammogram. High breast density means there is a greater amount of glandular and fibrous tissue as compared to fat. The mammogram image looks whiter in dense breasts. Most breast cancers also look white on the mammogram. So with dense breasts the addition of Tomosynthesis, ultrasound or MRI allows the Radiologist to see through the white, fibroglandular tissue to find smaller cancers.

MammogramBreast Tomosynthesis (3-D mammography) allows the doctor to examine breast tissue one layer at a time to find cancers hiding in the white fibroglandular tissue. Digital Tomosynthesis can help to detect more cancers in dense breasts, but the 3-D mammogram still relies on the contrast provided by fat. Some breasts are so dense that another screening modality is needed, in addition to the mammogram, to assure that there is no cancer hiding in the white fibroglandular breast tissue. Most breast cancers can be seen on a mammogram, but ultrasound and/or MRI can help find breast cancer that cannot be seen on the mammogram.

You may be called back for a Screening Breast Ultrasound or MRI based on your breast density and individual risk for breast cancer. A recall for additional screening does not mean that your mammogram is abnormal. So don't panic if you are called back! It is best to follow the recommendations of the interpreting radiologist and your personal physician.


Carolyn G. Dudley, MD
Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center

Carolyn G. Dudley has over 30 years' experience in breast imaging. She attended Bryn Mawr College, Howard University and completed her Diagnostic Radiology residency at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan. She is board certified by the American Board of Radiology and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society.

Dr. Dudley was one of the pioneers in developing techniques to diagnose breast cancer utilizing MRI. Presently, she has a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia where she offers patients a wide range of outpatient diagnostic services in a convenient and patient-friendly environment. Her practice is the first non-hospital facility in Georgia to offer the latest advancement in mammography: 3D Mammography (breast tomosynthesis). In addition, Dr. Dudley provides 2D Digital Mammography, bone densitometry and ultrasound utilizing the most up-to-date technology available.

Diagnostic Radiology is pleased to announce that beginning in January 2015 3D mammograms for Medicare patients are now covered by Medicare insurance.

Sponsored by: Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center
755 Mt. Vernon Highway, Suite #310 | Atlanta, GA 30328  |  (404) 252-3430 |

Wednesday, 08 December 2010 15:46 Written by
Dr. Amanda Bauer

Digital mammography is saving lives

A New Way to Beat Breast Cancer

Breast cancer will affect an average of 1 in 8 women at some point in their lifetime. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Numerous studies have proven that early detection is a vital component in the successful treatment of breast cancer. Now, Emory-Adventist Hospital has digital mammography, advancing the fight against breast cancer.

From a patient’s point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screen-film mammogram. During all mammography exams, the technologist positions the patient to get images of the breast from different angles, compressing the breast with a paddle to obtain optimal image quality. Unlike film-based mammography, however, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist’s monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which can mean a shorter time spent in the breast-imaging suite.

From a radiologist’s perspective, viewing digital images allows you to see things much more clearly. The comparison is very similar to the difference between viewing pictures from a digital camera and a traditional film camera. With a digital mammogram, the image’s brightness and darkness can be adjusted, and sections of the image can be magnified. This makes it easier for radiologists to see subtle differences in the breast.

Additionally, if you’re a woman with dense breast tissue, or haven’t gone through menopause, or are younger than 50, studies show that digital mammograms may be better than conventional film mammograms for detecting early breast cancer. Digital mammography is here to stay, and it saves lives.

Emory-Adventist Hospital
3949 S Cobb Drive SE