Breast ultrasound is a complimentary tool, used to evaluate findings on mammogram, MRI, and other breast imaging modality. In addition, if a mass or lump is felt in the breast, an ultrasound is an excellent tool, used, to determine whether or not the mass is cystic (fluid filled) or solid. There is no radiation with breast ultrasound, which is certainly an advantage, however, to date, ultrasound is not typically used as a screening tool. Mammography remains the ‘gold standard’ in this regard.
Ultrasound is an excellent tool used to determine whether a lesion is a cyst or solid. The distinction is important, as most cysts are benign (not cancer) and solid lesions may need biopsy; as most cancers are solid.
Ultrasound is a versatile modality because it is portable, and, does not emit radiation and is painless. Ultrasound of the breast can typically be performed in the office of a physician, or in the Breast Imaging Department of a hospital.