Dense breasts monitoring

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3/8/2023 at the age of 63
I had no symptoms and was picked up on routine mammogram . I had checked my breasts regularly and found no issues. My husband is a GP and also had checked and did not detect any problems.
I felt I had done everything to reduce my risk, I had breast fed my 5 children and had never been on the pill or hrt. I’d even gone to genetics as a younger sister had breast cancer aged 50. I was told that my risk of breast cancer was no higher than anyone else and was not offered genetic testing.
I had a 2.5 cams intraductal invasive cancer with high grade dcis within the tumour. Er and pr positive and her negative
I’ve completed wle and slnb and 5 days radiotherapy.
I had a micromet in one gland ,low oncotype score of 15.
My worry is that I have dense breasts .I wonder did I have dcis that was not visible on my previous mammogram because of my dense breasts.
Is there anyway to pick up dcis in dense breasts?
Can I reduce my breast density?
I’ve lost 2 stone but not sure if that helps.Will letrozole which I take reduce density? Is it worth a private mri to pick up DCIs in case I have it in my other breast?
Thank you


I have recently been diagnosed with triple neg breast cancer grade 3 stage 1, diagnosed by me finding a lump 6 months after normal mammogram.
During my pre op imaging the consultant radiologist told me that even knowing where the tumour was and on the hospital 3D mammogram machine was still hard to see, yet relatively clear on Ultrasound.
Because of this I have lost all faith mammogram and have insisted on annual ultrasound as my follow up plans. I haven’t been told I’ve got dense breasts just that they imaged as younger than my age (60) possibly as a result of my HRT, which I’ve sadly now had to stop.
Not sure if that helps your situation but I find every little bit of information fits in somewhere xxx

1 Like

Hi there. I am pre menopausal so on Tamoxifen but was told that will reduce density so I think Letrozole might do similar? I have also been told I will have MRIs as well for next 2 years to help. My cancer wasn’t ‘palpable’ and didn’t show on mammogram! Thankfully it was picked up on ultrasound and the extent was confirmed pre-op with MRI.

1 Like

Hi Vibby
I think I’m anxious in case I have more that develops into cancer .
I know what you mean about mammograms .
I’ve been offered yearly mammograms for 5 years but not sure that is reassuring me

1 Like

Hello polly4

Thank you for your post. It’s understandable you are concerned about the best way to detect a possible local recurrence in the breast and if there is anything you can do to reduce breast density.

Breast density sometimes makes a mammogram more difficult to interpret. This can mean women with dense breasts may be more often called back for follow-up testing.

The value of additional, imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI to screen for breast cancer in women with dense breasts is not yet clear. However, an MRI maybe be offered if it was difficult to get an accurate mammographic assessment because of breast density.

As you are concerned, it might be helpful to discuss this further with your treatment team and ask about the benefit of having an MRI privately.

I was unable to find anything conclusive that suggests how letrozole, weight or diet might impact on breast density, although breast density does reduce over time as we get older. What we do know is that trying to keep to a healthy weight, eating healthy balanced diet and trying to keep physically active can all help to reduce the risk of recurrence. We have some more information about this.

You may be interested in our Moving Forward courses, which aim to support you when treatment has finished.

You may also be interested in getting support with Life after cancer through and organisation called Future Dreams and an organisation called Get Me Back. Both organisations have information about diet and exercise after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Our Someone Like Me service may also be of interest. This service can match you with a trained volunteer who’s had a similar experience to you.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK - prefix 18001).

If you would prefer one of our nurses to call you. To do this, please complete this form ticking the box agreeing to a call back.

Our usual opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am - 1pm on Saturday.

Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer Full details on how we collect and use your data can be found in our Privacy Policy

This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread.