Breast Density law

Where to
Find us

We are proud to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services in Pasadena and Glendora, California, and surrounding counties.

Breast Density Law Takes Effect

A new California law has been passed that is designed to improve breast cancer detection and prevention by educating patients about dense breast tissue and how it could conceal possible abnormalities during mammographic procedures.

Starting April 1, 2013, The Jim & Eleanor Randall Breast Center and The Hill Imaging Center, Inc. are mandated by the State of California to notify patients via written form if on their screening mammography their breast density tissue was categorized either heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts. These categories are based on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System established by the American College of Radiology.

Patients that are classified with either of these two categories of dense breasts can expect to receive the following written notice:

“Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense. Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. This information about the results of your mammogram is given to you to raise your awareness and to inform your conversations with your doctor. Together, you can decide which screening options are right for you. A report of your results was sent to your physician.”

Dense breast tissue is common and is not abnormal. However, dense breast tissue can make it harder to evaluate the results of your mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. However, it is important for The Jim & Eleanor Randall Breast Center and The Hill Imaging Center, Inc. patients to understand that dense tissue is not the only factor when labeling a woman at high risk of breast cancer.

In addition to the written report, the new law requires our physicians to inform women who have dense breast tissue that additional screening options are available, including breast ultrasound and breast MRI, both of which we offer at our facilities.

What is breast density?
Breasts are made up of a mixture of fibrous and glandular tissue and fatty
tissue. Your breasts are considered dense if you have a lot of fibrous or
glandular tissue but not much fat. Density may decrease with age, but
there is little, if any, change in most women.

How do I know if I have dense breasts?
Breast density is determined by the radiologist who reads your
mammogram. There are four categories of mammographic density.
The radiologist assigns each mammogram to one of the categories.
Your doctor should be able to tell you whether you have dense breasts
based on where you fall on the density scale.

Why is breast density important?
Having dense breast tissue may increase your risk of getting breast cancer.
Dense breasts also make it more difficult for doctors to spot cancer on
mammograms. Dense tissue appears white on a mammogram. Lumps,
both benign and cancerous, may also appear white. So, mammograms
can be less accurate in women with dense breasts.

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 you have dense breast tissue.

Are there any tests that are better than a mammogram for
dense breasts?

In breasts that are dense, cancer can be hard to see on a mammogram.
Studies have shown that ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
can help find breast cancers that can’t be seen on a mammogram. However,
both MRI and ultrasound, show more findings that are not cancer, which can
result in added testing and unnecessary biopsies. Also, the cost of ultrasound
and MRI may not be covered by insurance.

What should I do if I have dense breasts? What if I don’t?
If you have dense breasts, please talk to your doctor. Together, you can
decide which, if any, additional screening exams are right for you. However, it
is important for The Jim & Eleanor Randall Breast Center and The Hill Imaging
Center, Inc. patients to understand that dense tissue is not the only factor
when labeling a woman at high risk of breast cancer.

If your breasts are not dense, other factors may still place you at increased risk
for breast cancer — including a family history of the disease, previous chest
radiation treatment for cancer and previous breast biopsies that show you are
high risk. Talk to your doctor and discuss your history.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate
to contact our staff at The Jim & Eleanor Randall Breast Center at (626)
793-6141, or The Hill Imaging Center, Inc. at (626) 914-3384.



Web Design, SEO & Marketing by Idyllwild Advertising