Sometimes, mammograms are unable to identify cancers in women with dense breasts. As a result, the FDA stated that new regulations for advising women about their tissue type and screening alternatives are in the works.
The leader of breast imaging at Northwestern Medicine, Dr. Sarah Friedewald, says that denser breasts contain less fat and more tissue. Both dense tissue and tumors appear white on mammograms, making it more difficult to detect cancers in dense tissue.
“Approximately 40[%] to 50[%] of American women have thick breast tissue. It only makes it somewhat more difficult to detect cancer on a mammogram “Friedewald added.
Due to the breast density of one of Friedewald’s patients, multiple scans, an ultrasound, and an MRI were required to find a massive malignant tumor.
In the United States, 38 states mandate that patients be informed about their breast density.
If you intend to get a mammogram, it is essential to inquire about your tissue type. If more tests are required, obtain a medical order and determine whether your insurance provider requires prior authorization and covers the expense.
Additional testing can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Eve Feinberg, age 48, is examined annually for breast cancer because her aunts were diagnosed at a young age. She estimates that her annual out-of-pocket cost for an MRI after insurance coverage is approximately $2,000.
However, she argues that it is worthwhile.
Feinberg stated, “Just to know that if something is identified, it will be detected early.”
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