A breast ultrasound is generally used to further evaluate a lump or mammogram finding. The most important information from an ultrasound is whether the area of concern is a fluid-filled cyst or is solid tissue that may be cancer. Ultrasound can also be used to guide a needle aspiration or biopsy.
Ultrasonography (ultrasound) is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to look inside the body. A clinician spreads a thin coating of lubricating jelly over the breast and a hand-held instrument directs the sound waves through the skin. As the sound waves reflect back from the breast tissue, a computer translates them into a two-dimensional image.
When is a breast ultrasound commonly used?
- To evaluate breast problems that are found during a screening or diagnostic mammogram or a physical exam.
- To distinguish between fluid-filled cyst and solid tumors.
- As part of other diagnostic procedures, such as needle biopsies.