A breast ultrasound or sonogram is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves to create a digital image of breast tissue. It is another procedure in the arsenal of early detection of breast cancer.
Breast ultrasounds are often prescribed for women with dense breasts and are frequently used to screen for breast cancer following a mammogram. They are also used to gauge needle placement for a biopsy.
Breast ultrasounds are safe for most women—even during pregnancy—because they do not emit radiation. While a breast ultrasound is a highly-effective supplemental diagnostic procedure, it should not replace a mammogram.
The procedure is quick and painless. Our technologist applies ultrasound gel to the area, and slides the transducer across your skin until the image is produced. In this process, the transducer emits sound waves that bounce off the breast tissue, detecting cysts or other masses.
Breast Ultrasound: Screening
A screening ultrasound is recommended for women who have:
- Dense breast tissue
- A high-risk of developing breast cancer
- Breast implants
- A family history of breast cancer
- Had a previous biopsy indicating pre-cancer or cancer
Breast Ultrasound: Diagnostic
A diagnostic ultrasound is generally recommended for women with:
- An abnormal mammogram
- Symptoms such as sore, swollen, or lumpy breasts
- As prescribed by your physician