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Ultrasound (Ultrasonography)
 
  


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Ultrasound (Ultrasonography)  

What is an ultrasound? What is ultrasonography? When are these procedures recommended as an examination of the breast?

Ultrasound (also called ultrasonography) is an imaging technique in which high-frequency sound waves are sent to a part of your body. Echoes from the ultrasound waves bouncing off the tissues of your body are displayed as images (called a sonogram) on a viewing screen.

The best way to understand what an ultrasound does is to first understand what it does not do. Ultrasounds are not a substitute for mammograms, nor are ultrasounds recognized as a general screening tool for cancer.

Instead, ultrasound is most often used in conjunction with other tests. For example, if a mammogram has turned up some sort of abnormality, or a if doctor has felt something unusual during a clinical exam, an ultrasound may be used to determine whether the abnormality is solid (such as either a benign fibroadenoma or a cancer) or fluid-filled (such as a benign cyst). An ultrasound cannot, however, determine whether a solid lump is cancerous, nor can it detect calcifications.

In addition, ultrasound of the breast is a common screening technique used in women under age 30. A young woman's breast tissue tends to be very dense and full of milk glands. On a mammogram, dense breast tissue looks white, which makes it almost impossible to see any cancerous growths, which also would be read as white. Many doctors say that trying to find a tumor in the midst of dense gland tissue in a mammogram can be like finding a polar bear in a snowstorm. Ultrasounds offer a better glimpse of young patients' breast tissue.

Also, ultrasounds commonly are used to guide biopsy needles to exact spots in the breast where anything suspicious has been located.


Questions Related to Ultrasound (Ultrasonography)
What is a mammogram?
Do mammograms prevent breast cancer?
I have had a mastectomy, but the cancer has been in remission for 2 years. Should I get a mammogram on the other breast?
Who should get a mammogram? When? How often?
If mammograms are so good at detecting nonsymptomatic tumors, why should I bother with a monthly breast self exam (BSE)?
I have breast implants. How can I get properly screened?
Are there different types of mammograms?
What is a digital mammogram? Is it better than a film mammogram?
Are mammograms safe?
How is a mammogram performed?
How can I get ready for my mammogram?
Are there any problems with mammography?
Are mammograms painful?
Where should I get a mammogram?
What if my health insurance does not cover mammograms?
I don't have health insurance. Where can I get a free or low-cost mammogram?
How often should I get a mammogram?
How long until you get the results of your mammogram?
Why are mammograms not recommended for women under 30?
Does the radiation from a mammogram cause cancer?
How accurate are mammograms?
Are mammograms less accurate if you are significantly overweight?
What is "implantation displacement view?"
I have heard of the Eklund Technique for women with breast implants. What is the Eklund Technique exactly?
I've heard that mammograms can cause implants to burst. Is this true?
Are MRIs better than mammograms for screening young women with a high breast cancer risk?
Should I get a mammogram if I am pregnant?
What happens if a woman detects an abnormality while she is nursing?
What is breast thermography? Does it give accurate results? Is it used in combination with or instead of mammography?
What is a sonogram? What is the purpose of a sonogram? What do the results of a sonogram mean?
What is a spot compression mammogram?
What is spot compression?
I am breastfeeding my child. Can I have a mammogram?
How can I find and participate in a clinical trial on screening for breast cancer?
What is the SureTouch Visual Mapping System?
What is a clinical breast exam with tactile sensing technology?
What does a Category 0 mammogram result mean?
What does a Category 0/Level 4 result of a mammogram mean?
What does a Category 1 mammogram result mean?
What does a Category 2 mammogram result mean?
What does a Category 3 mammogram result mean?
What does a Category 4 mammogram result mean?
What does a Category 5 mammogram result mean?
How effective are mammograms in detecting breast cancer?
What is a clinical breast exam?
How often should I get a clinical breast exam?
What does screening mean?

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