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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Dense Breast Letter Should Not Cause Panic

New Jersey now requires all women that get mammograms to receive a follow-up letter noting if they have dense breasts. While the letter has good intentions, it can strike a bit of fear, as it doesn’t provide particularly helpful or specific information about a woman’s breasts. Dense breast tissue makes it harder to detect tumors via mammograms, but it’s important to know that mammography is only one tool in the breast cancer detection toolbox. Self-breast exams and manual breast exams at one’s annual gynecological visit are the first line of defense. Usually, one can feel a lumpy spot, a texture change, or something that’s off or different. One’s doctor can compare this year’s mammogram to last year’s to get a better sense if anything’s changed. If further screening needs to be done, breast ultrasound, breast magnetic resonance imaging and 3D mammography are all viable options. If one has a suspicious finding, Virtua can schedule a consultation within 48 hours. Virtua’s nationally accredited breast cancer program is part of the Penn Medicine Virtua Cancer Program, with locations in Moorestown, Voorhees and Washington Township.

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