Dense Breasts May Obscure Mammogram Results

The doctors were pleased to inform me, the letter said, that the results of the mammogram were normal. Early detection of cancer is important, a report was sent to my referring physician, I should report any lumps, see my health provider, have a physical.

A sentence in the fourth paragraph grabbed me by the throat. “Your breast tissue is dense.”

In journalism, we call this “burying the lead” — tucking the really significant information far down in the story. I knew that having dense breast tissue makes it hard to read mammograms and may increase the risk of breast cancer. I just never knew I had dense breasts.

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9 Replies

  • At least they told you. I imagine years of thousands with no such info. Perhaps adding flaxseed to daily diet as ground up seed or oil (2 tablespoons) may help. Eat more organic whenever possible. I founded nonprofit Annie Appleseed Project.

  • Flaxseed should be on do not eat list as it has a form of estrogen, not good to eat for Estrogen + breast cancer, and not good for women taling tamoxifen.

    Organic is great, but nutritionist should be consulted as some grains, legumes, etc. containestrogen. Estrogen feeds growth of breast tumors.

  • Natural sources turn out to occupy the receptors in a beneficial way. Without adverse effects of Tamoxifen. There is no conflict with Tamoxifen. What makes you think so?

  • Nutritionists at the Living Well Cancer Center Geneva IL, info from my chemotherapy oncologist on food.

    Women who are estrogen receptor positive, and taking tamoxifen whuch stops production of estrogen don't need to be adding it back into their body thru diet .There most definitely is a confluct with tamoxifen. just because something is natural doesn't mean it doesn't contain estrogen . look it, sesame seeds, legumes, canola. Estrogen feeds tumor growth in premenopausal women who are estrogen receptor positive, like me.

  • Flaxseed also contains a form of estrogen. If you're posttmenopausal and not estrogen receptor positive, go ahead. Flaxseed is great just not for premenopausal, estrogen receptor positive

  • Annie Appleseed is my go to for info about CAM! It's one of the few, (or maybe only!) CAM group that relies on actual science and solid research! This discussion is a good example of the info they provide--see administrator's note below. My onc okays flax seed.

  • I also have dense breast and insist on sonograms over mammograms.My doctor agrees and authorizes it with my health care provider.

  • From Dana Farber website:

    The issue of phytoestrogens is very confusing for all cancer survivors.

    Research on lignans found in flaxseeds is ongoing. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, current research suggests that flaxseed may be protective, especially in post-menopausal women, and consuming flaxseed does not increase risk for breast cancer. Previously, it was thought that the lignans, which are phytoestrogens, would act like estrogen in the body. However, current research indicates that is not the case.

    Flaxseed also provides other nutrients, including dietary fiber and omega-3 fats, which are both an important part of a healthy diet. Typically, up to 1-2 tablespoons per day of ground flax seed is suggested.

    You may consume pure flaxseed oil if you choose. The oil is stripped of the woody shell, and is not a source of fiber, but is still a good source of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat, which may have cholesterol-lowering properties. Since flaxseed oil is a dense source of calories we suggest limiting amounts to 1-2 tablespoons per day.

  • I put ground flaxseed in the granola that I make from scratch. I read somewhere that the hulls need to be ground up for whole flaxseed to be digested. I don't know if that is true, but the only thing I have found that will grind those tough little seeds up is an electric coffee bean grinder. I've not used as much as two tablespoons a day but I might try that. For those interested in such info, I heard alot at bc conferences about cancer being related to inflammation and that fighting inflammation can help keep cancer under control. My DO pcp had just given me suggestions for fighting inflammation: 1 cup of tart cherry juice per day, turmeric (spice, aka curcumin), fish oil and glucosamine/chondrotin. I saw an immediate improvement in the swelling in my post fracture ankle after trying just the cherry juice and turmeric for a couple of days. Tomatoes, bell peppers and egg plant promote inflammation and should be avoided if you are wanting to address that. I only eat tomatoes occasionally now, which means alot less pasta and pizza, sadly! My stomach definitely thinks it's Italian! lol

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