Asked by Paula45
What Is Fibroglandular Tissue?
My recent mammogram showed an area of increased density that was described as overlying fibroglandular tissue. I'm not sure what fibroglandular tissue is.
Your breast is made up of two main types of tissue: fat, and fibroglandular. We all know what fat is (unfortunately!); fibroglandular tissue in the breast is the milk glands and ducts, muscle, and connective tissue that make up the rest of the breast, giving it structure and purpose.
Breast density is determined by the ratio of fibroglandular tissue to fat; the more fat, the less dense the breast. Since women with dense breasts are at greater risk for breast cancer, it's important to pay more attention to the breast's fibroglandular tissue than to its fat.
When a radiologist reads a mammogram, s/he sees it in black and white. Fat appears black (clear) on a mammogram; fibroglandular tissue, which can also include tumors (either cancerous or benign), are white/opaque. The radiologist is most interested in the opaque areas of the reading, and what they show - or might hide.
So it's not unusual to see fibroglandular tissue mentioned in a mammogram report. In your case, it sounds like the radiologist may see less fat (increased density) in your breast than in previous mammograms. If this was a problem, I'm sure your doctor would have contacted you for additional views. However, if you're worried, please call and ask for clarification of your mammogram results.