Why Breast Ultrasounds Are Used to Help Detect Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common form of malignancy that affects women. What is more alarming is that its prevalence is rising at alarming rates, not only in America but also in the rest of the world.
Nevertheless, with more healthcare providers advocating for early intervention strategies, many cases are caught early, and it’s just a matter of time before these figures come down drastically. Mammograms are typically recommended as an annual screening procedure, but the information they provide can be enhanced with a breast ultrasound in certain cases. Here is a look at when an ultrasound can be helpful.
What Is a Breast Ultrasound?
A breast ultrasound is a non-invasive and painless procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of your mammary glands. The main purpose of a breast ultrasound is to detect various types of abnormalities in the breast, including lumps and cancerous tumors.
During the procedure, an instrument (transducer) is used to transmit sound waves on the surface of the target area. The transducer then collects the echoes as they bounce off your tissues before transforming them into images.
From these computer-generated images, the technologist is able to determine whether an abnormal growth is a benign fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass.
Why Is a Breast Ultrasound Beneficial for Helping Detect Breast Cancer?
A breast ultrasound is safe and painless, and it doesn’t use ionizing radiation. If a mammogram shows a suspicious mass, a breast ultrasound is a non-invasive way to determine whether it is a fluid-filled cyst or a potentially cancerous area. In addition, if the lump is a cyst, an ultrasound can guide fine needle aspiration to remove fluid for further diagnosis. A biospy may still be needed later, however, if the mass is not a fluid-filled cyst.
Another benefit is that an ultrasound may help detect cancer in palpable lumps near the surface of the breast. Other procedures are often not as effective as far as detecting this type of malignancy.
How to Prepare for a Breast Ultrasound
Appropriate preparation is of utmost importance before undergoing any medical procedure. The good news is that a breast ultrasound doesn’t require any special preparations.
On the day of the ultrasound exam, it’s advisable to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. The technologist will ask you to wear a provided hospital gown, so you might want to wear a top and bottom that are separate. That way, you only have to remove your top.
The procedure takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Eating or drinking before the exam shouldn’t be a problem.
Schedule an Appointment With Us
The effectiveness of a breast ultrasound depends on the skill of the technologist. Any human error might lead to a misinterpretation of the results or overlooked lumps. For this reason, it’s imperative that you seek ultrasound services from a trusted imaging and mammography center.
The Women’s Center at Colorado Springs Imaging and Envision Imaging offer highly reliable ultrasound services with fast turnaround times. Our competent technologists have vast experience in detecting and interpreting imaging results. Get in touch with us today to schedule your appointment.