A breast ultrasound is an imaging technique commonly used to screen for tumors and other breast abnormalities. The ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the breasts. considered safe for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers.
Your doctor may perform a breast ultrasound if a suspicious lump is discovered in your breast. An ultrasound helps your doctor determine whether the lump is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid tumour. It also allows them to determine the location and size of the lump. While a breast ultrasound can be used to assess a lump in your breast, it can’t be used to determine whether the lump is cancerous.
Aside from being used to determine the nature of a breast abnormality, a breast ultrasound may also be performed on women who should avoid radiation, such as:
- women under age 25
- women who are pregnant
- women who are breast-feeding
- women with silicone breast implants
That can only be established if a sample of tissue or fluid is removed from the lump and tested in a laboratory. To obtain a tissue or fluid sample, your doctor may perform an ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy. During this procedure, your doctor will use a breast ultrasound as a guide while they remove the sample of tissue or fluid. The sample will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
How to Identify?
The images produced by a breast ultrasound are in black and white. Cysts, tumors, and growths will appear as dark areas on the scan.
A dark spot on your ultrasound doesn’t mean that you have breast cancer. In fact, most breast lumps are benign. There are several conditions that can cause benign lumps in the breast.
- An adenofibroma is a benign tumor of the breast tissue.
- Fibrocystic breasts are breasts that are painful and lumpy due to hormonal changes.
- An intraductal papilloma is a small, benign tumor of the milk duct.
- Mammary fat necrosis is bruised, dead, or injured fat tissue that causes lumps.
What to Do?
If your doctor finds a lump that requires further testing, they might perform an MRI first and then they’ll perform a biopsy to remove a sample of tissue or fluid from the lump. The results of the biopsy will help your doctor determine whether the lump is malignant, or cancerous.