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Ask The Expert – Dr. Onalisa Winblad, MD

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Mammograms are a must


  1.  Are screening mammograms really necessary?
  2.  Yes! Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in American women, apart from skin cancer. Routine screening mammography reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer by 30 percent to 48 percent. The majority of deaths due to breast cancer occur in women who were not undergoing routine mammographic screening. Medical organizations with expertise in breast cancer care, including the American Cancer Society and Society of Breast Imaging, recommend annual screening mammography in women beginning at age 40. At The University of Kansas Hospital, we offer 3D digital mammography for screening, which improves breast cancer detection and reduces the need for additional imaging in many women. Our team of dedicated breast radiologists ensures the highest quality mammogram interpretation.



  1.  My doctor told me I have dense breast tissue. What does this mean?
  2.  Breast density refers to the overall amount of breast tissue relative to fatty tissue within the breast. Breast density is a mammographic finding that is determined by a radiologist. A woman’s breast density cannot be determined by physical examination. The risk of breast cancer may be three to six times higher in women with dense breast tissue. Additionally, cancers are more difficult to detect with mammography if a patient has dense breast tissue. Some states require that radiologists notify women of their breast density and the possible benefit of supplemental screening.  Ask your doctor if you have breast cancer risk factors (such as increased breast density, family history or genetic mutations) that require additional screening tests. At The University of Kansas Hospital, we offer the most advanced screening technologies, including 3D digital mammography, automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).