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Breast Density

What is Breast Density?

Breast density is a measure of the proportion of glandular and fibrous tissue vs. fatty tissue in the breasts. The more glandular and fibrous tissue, the greater the breast density.

Why is breast density important?

Higher-density breasts make potentially cancerous tissue more difficult to detect in a mammogram. If you have dense breasts, other screening methods may be needed to detect breast cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.

How do I know whether I have dense breasts?

Our UltimateMamm® uses the following scale to report your breast density:

  • Predominantly fatty – less than 25 percent fibroglandular tissue density (about 10 percent of women)
  • Scattered density – 25 -50 percent fibroglandular tissue density (about 40 percent of women)
  • Heterogeneously dense – 50-75 percent fibroglandular tissue density (about 40 percent of women).
  • Extremely dense – greater than 75 percent fibroglandular tissue density (about 10 percent of women)

For the 50 percent of women who have heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts, mammograms may miss 50 percent or more of cancers.

What if my breast density is high?

RMI’s radiologists will consult with your provider on the screening plan that best fits your breast density level and medical history.


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