Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is an imaging method in which sound waves are used to look inside the body. For this test, a small, microphone-like instrument called a transducer is placed on the skin after application of ultrasound gel. It emits sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off body tissues. The echoes are converted by a computer into a black and white image that is displayed on a computer screen. This test is painless and does not expose you to radiation.
According to the American Cancer Society, Breast Ultrasound is sometimes used to evaluate breast problems that are found during a screening or diagnostic mammogram or on physical exam. Breast ultrasound is not routinely used for screening. Some studies have suggested that ultrasound may be a helpful addition to mammography when screening women with dense breast tissue (which is hard to evaluate with a mammogram), but the use of ultrasound instead of mammograms for breast cancer screening is not recommended. Breast Ultrasound is the only way to test if a suspicious area is a cyst without needle placement to aspirate fluid.
Ultrasound has become an invaluable tool to use along with mammograms because it is widely available, non-invasive, and less expensive than other options. It serves as an additional tool to aid in diagnoses of breast related problems, including cancer.
Your physician will determine if a Breast Ultrasound is needed. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any additional questions.