FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Trying to find a white spot on a white wall can be challenging at best.

That’s how a doctor might describe looking for cancer in a woman with dense breast tissue.

A new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open has found that women with extremely dense breasts face a risk of breast cancer four times higher than women with low breast density and women with a substantial amount have a twenty percent higher risk.

We asked Fresno Radiologist Dr. Bonna Rogers for her thoughts on these results.  According to Dr. Rogers, “The problem with the dense breasts, is it makes breast cancer harder to detect because it’s hidden by the breast tissue.”

By law, mammography centers in California and 36 other states are required to notify women of their breast density so they can be aware of any increased risk.

Dr. Rogers recommends 3-D mammography or Tomosynthesis which creates a three-dimensional picture of the breast.  

It’s now considered the standard of care for screenings and Dr. Rogers says knowing your family history is also vital.

“In the past, you might have heard that it’s always related to the mother, but it’s not.  It’s both parents. we need to evaluate both family trees,” Dr. Rogers says.

The best plan of attack to prevent breast cancer death and late-stage diagnosis is to get screened.

“We could eliminate over two-thirds of the breast cancer deaths in the United States if we could get everybody in for screening,” says Dr. Rogers.