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When Testing for Breast Cancer Means More than a Mammogram

<br> <P>October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And you've probably heard a lot about the importance of screening and mammograms. But sometimes, a patient may need different tests for a diagnosis, especially when breast tissue is dense.</P>

JOPLIN, MO-- "The fibroglandular tissue is what we call we call the dense tissue - it includes all the glandular tissue and milk ducts as well as connective tissue. They all appear to be a solid white area on a mammogram." According to Freeman Radiologist Jane Seto, it's similar to the appearance of breast cancer - a problem when the patient's health is on the line. "That will make the mammogram difficult for interpretation because it's like hunting a polar bear in a snow storm."

Seto says there are a couple of different options to spot breast cancer, including an MRI. "On a mammogram, it appears to be the white solid area but on MRI, we get contrast. So the contrast behaves very differently from normal fibroglandular tissues. So that will help tremendously. And with ultra sound there is different echogenecity we call. And a lot of the time, the cancer would appear different than the adjacent tissue." Seto adds while the MRI and ultra sound are valuable tools, it's still important to start testing with a mammogram.

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