An ultrasound can detect several different types of breast conditions, including benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) lesions. Ultrasound is frequently used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found with screening mammography, diagnostic mammography or during a clinical breast exam. Ultrasound allows the physician to obtain images of the breast from almost any angle.
Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. It is also helpful in detecting abnormalities in patients with dense breasts. Though fairly common (especially in younger women), dense breasts may make breast masses difficult to detect on a mammogram film.
Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small probe and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. They are captured in real-time and can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.