Which Kinds of Imaging Tests Are Best for Dense Breasts?

High breast density can make it more difficult to differentiate abnormalities from healthy tissue in traditional mammography. Depending on the level of density, additional imaging tests may be necessary or recommended by your doctor.

Because having dense breasts may increase your risk of developing breast cancer, it’s even more important for those with dense breasts to make sure they have the right tests done.

Breast Imaging Services

There are several different diagnostic imaging tests that doctors can use to better examine and detect potential issues in breast tissue.

Not every test is optimal for every patient. For those with particularly dense breasts, the standard x-ray test conducted during mammograms may not give doctors adequate images to evaluate.

Radiologists may opt to look at alternative diagnostic imaging techniques or supplemental tests when evaluating dense breast tissue.

The most popular ones include:

  • 3D digital mammogram: Traditional mammograms are not always suitable for dense breasts, because the X-ray technology may overlap images. However, 3D mammograms are able to produce multiple images using sounds waves. These images can even help to measure breast density, and they can be taken at the same time as a regular mammogram.
  • Breast MRI: Breast MRIs create images using magnets rather than radiation. These types of imaging tests are typically not used unless there are other risk factors or prior imaging signals that warrant a need for more sensitive scanning.
  • Breast ultrasound: Breast ultrasounds rely on sound waves to evaluate tissue. These tests are incredibly beneficial for patients with dense breasts because they can detect the difference between cysts and solid lumps. Luckily, these imaging tests are widely available and feature no radiation exposure.

Your doctor will determine if you are a high-risk patient and recommend the appropriate imaging for your situation.

Imaging for Every Patient

At Lake Medical Imaging, our team is dedicated to ensuring that every patient has access to the best imaging options for their circumstance. Our radiologists can determine the density of your breasts from the results of your mammogram and discuss if any other imaging tests may be necessary.

If you would like to learn more about imaging for dense breasts or want to schedule an appointment to use any of the specialized imaging options mentioned, call us today at 352-365-0777.