Breast Tissue Plays Role in Your Risk of Cancer

A recent study reported many fewer deaths from cancer - including breast cancer.

But one local expert still hopes women will pay close attention after a second study on how tissue plays a role in your risk.

These mammograms show the difference.

On the right is a dense breast with a lot of tissue, which makes tumors hard to spot.

The example on the left, though, is fatty allowing doctors to spot the small mass in the bottom left corner.

You can see it's harder to read mammograms for women with more tissue.

But also, the tissue itself is more of a breeding ground for cancer to develop.

One local breast cancer expert says despite these findings mammograms are the best detection tool.

UW Breast Imaging Director Dr. Gale Sisney says, "Annual mammograms are still really important and the study shows that. There are a number of breast cancers that show up in dense breasts and that's why we work so hard to do what we do."

Dr. Sisney also says that ultrasound is a good compliment to a mammogram, if necessary - but should never be a replacement.

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