All Breasts Are Not the Same

Friday, October 25, 2019

Have you been told you have dense breast tissue and did you know what that meant? At the OLBH Women’s Center we know all breasts are not the same. Breasts that have more tissue than fat are considered dense, and unfortunately dense breasts can mask a serious problem when utilizing only a traditional mammogram. It’s why OLBH was the first in Kentucky to offer the automated breast ultrasound system (ABUS) to screen for cancer in women whose breasts are denser.

Annual screenings are the best way to diagnose breast cancer early, yet the problem is two-fold for women with denser breast tissue as they not only can have problems missed by traditional mammography alone, but they also have an increased risk of breast cancer. ABUS, also known as whole breast ultrasound, utilizes hundreds of images taken in slices that allow a radiologist to look for cancers in layers of dense tissue. ABUS, in tandem with a mammogram, offers a better chance to diagnose cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

We’re all made different, so it is completely normal to have breasts that are extremely dense and pose a challenge for traditional mammography. In the United States, 40 percent of women have dense breasts. For these women, ABUS is something at OLBH that they should consider. The ultrasound can be used in combination with mammography to screen for breast cancers that cannot be felt on physical examination or cannot be seen with mammography alone.

Since opening more than a decade ago, the OLBH Women’s Center, located on the ground floor of Bellefonte Centre (1000 Ashland Drive), has combined breast health services in one location, eliminating the necessity for multiple appointments and prolonged waiting for women. The OLBH Women’s Center offers both 2-D and 3-D mammography with same-day results, breast ultrasound, minimally invasive breast biopsy, a DEXA densitometer to screen for bone density, genetic testing, clinical breast exams, a women’s health library, the OLBH Women’s Center Boutique and a breast health navigator to guide patients and families through the process.

I encourage any woman with denser breasts, a strong family history of breast cancer, or who has genetic testing that showed positive for breast cancer, to come see us. To schedule an appointment at the OLBH Women’s Center call (606) 836-PINK (7465). 

Beth Wilson,
Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Women’s Center Breast Care Coordinator

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