Kevin Hughes on Dense Breast Tissue and Cancer Risk

March 23, 2016
Kevin S. Hughes, MD

Kevin Hughes, MD, breast surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses misconceptions regarding dense breast tissue and risk for breast cancer.

Kevin Hughes, MD, breast surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses misconceptions regarding dense breast tissue and risk for breast cancer.

Hughes says that women who are told that they have dense breast tissue should not panic. Dense breast tissue is something seen in about half of women, with weight and age playing a role, and does not increase chances of getting breast cancer.

While dense breasts may hide breast cancer on a mammogram, Hughes emphasizes that even that situation is becoming more unlikely, especially with new technological advancements like 3-D mammograms. So before women with dense breasts look to further testing, such as MRIs, they should consult with their doctors regarding their risks and then create a screening plan.