I was recently told that I have "Dense Breast Tissue." The nurse left a message that I should let my surgeon know that this is a "5.0 stable nodule, same as last year." Of course I got this message late on a Friday afternoon. (and did not have a surgeon...) When I contacted my gyn's office the next Monday, I got a little more detal that this had shown up on at least the previous years mammogram and they described it as "dense breast tissue on the upper outer nodule of the left breast." The nurse then gave me a phone number for a surgeon and said I should contact him. I have not noticed any difference in my left or right breasts and get yearly breast exams at my gyne office. They also have never mentioned anything. My questions are: Why was I not informed before that something showed up on my mammogram in previous years and why wouldn't my gyne speak to me? What does this type of finding usually mean? I had a hysterectomy two years ago and am on estrogen replacement. Thank you
Dear scamper, Normal breast tissue is very dense. As we grow older the amount of breast tissue decreases, and the amount of fat in the breast increases. On a mammogram denser areas of breast tissue show up as white on a mammogram, and fat which is not very dense, shows up as gray. An area that has remained stable over the past year would be less likely to be a malignancy, however you would want to follow up on what you have been told to have clarification of the findings. When you see the surgeon they will want to see both mammograms and the reports and be able to discuss the results with you and whether further evaluation is necessary.
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