Breast Ultrasound is an important tool when diagnosing breast abnormalities. In many cases, breast ultrasound will be performed after a diagnostic mammogram to further investigate an abnormal area. Some breast lesions/masses are better seen using ultrasound.
An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of anatomy within the body. In the case of breast imaging, we see breast tissue. Breast ultrasound gives the imaging specialist a “freehand” view of the affected breast, therefore allowing for custom views of the area of interest. One benefit of breast Ultrasound is that it has NO ionizing radiation involved (It is worth noting that the radiation from a mammogram is extremely low in the first place)
While Breast Ultrasound is typically performed in conjunction with a diagnostic mammogram or a biopsy, it may be used as a screening tool for certain high risk patients. This may include patients who:
- Are at high risk for breast cancer and cannot have an MRI
- Are pregnant and should not be exposed to ionizing radiation
- Have very dense breasts