Ultrasound for Breast Screening
When it comes to breast screening, one size doesn’t fit all. Pink Hope believes that all women should be aware and educated when it comes to the various types of screening methods available and the best suited method for their personal risk factors.
Currently, 2D mammography is the standard screening method across Australia. However, recent findings show that standard 2D mammograms may be less accurate in women with dense breasts. Luckily, there are more suitable screening options for women at risk, like MRI, ultrasound and 3D mammography.
Ultrasounds imaging of the breast uses sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the breast.
What is a breast ultrasound?
Breast ultrasound is an examination of the breast tissue using high frequency sound waves to produce images of the breast.
Difference from a 2D mammogram?
If a lump is felt in your breast, an ultrasound can help to distinguish fluid-filled lumps from solid lumps that may be cancerous or benign. It also helps determine the location and size of the lump. If your doctor discovers a lump, a sample of tissue fluid needs to be removed from the lump (by an ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy) and tested in a lab.
Because a breast ultrasound doesn’t require radiation, it doesn’t pose any risks.
When to consider ultrasound for breast screening
Other than being used to determine the nature of a breast abnormality, a breast ultrasound may also be performed on women who should avoid radiation.
Consider a breast ultrasound if you fall in any of the below categories:
- Women under age 25
- Women who are pregnant
- Women for are breast-feeding
- Women with silicone breast implants
- Have particularly dense breast tissue
If the ultrasound does not identify a lump that you or your doctor can feel, then other tests, such as mammography or MRI may be required to examine the breast.
It is so important to take control of your health, and by knowing your risk and the screening options available- it’s one step closer to changing your future! Be in control and don’t be afraid to ask questions and bang on doors if you feel like something’s not right. Talk to your healthcare provider during your next screening and discuss what screening options are most suitable for you.
For more information on density and how to know if you have dense breasts, click here.