Why Are Breast Ultrasounds Used?
Breast ultrasound is most often used to evaluate breast problems that are found during a mammogram or physical exam. If your mammogram has detected a suspicious mass, or if a manual breast exam has located a lump, an ultrasound breast exam will likely be the next step in diagnosis. Most lumps and masses are benign but any suspicious mass must be diagnosed. In someone with a breast tumor, it may also be used to look at lymph nodes under the arm to determine if cancerous cells have spread. In younger women, ultrasound is the preferred test to detect abnormal masses: young breast tissue is dense and full of milk glands. On a mammogram, this glandular tissue is hard to distinguish from cancerous masses as they look very similar to each other.
Your mammogram results letter will state if you have dense breast tissue or not. If your tissue is dense, it is highly recommended to get a screening breast ultrasound for a more thorough and complete evaluation. This should be done annually in addition to a mammogram, as each exam reveals different findings.
A Breast Ultrasound is a painless non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to create images of the internal structures of one’s breast. A Breast Ultrasound is a safe, comfortable exam, as it does not use radiation, and is the only way to determine if a detected mass is a cyst without having to perform a needle breast biopsy (removal of fluid using a needle). For women carrying the mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, there is some concern that the limited exposure to radiation produced by mammography can damage DNA. In a study conducted by the Center for Research on Women’s Health, University of Toronto, Canada, it was determined that there was no association between exposure to radiation in a mammogram and breast cancer. Regardless, the use of ultrasound removes the possibility that this may be a concern in the future.
When choosing a facility that offers breast ultrasounds in Los Angeles, many look no further than the capable hands at Bedford Breast Center. It’s no surprise that we are considered a top breast care facility that offer what many feel to be the best breast ultrasound Los Angeles has available.
If a suspicious mass is detected during your breast ultrasound or mammogram, an ultrasound-guided biopsy is performed. During this in-office procedure, the ultrasound is used to direct the doctor to the exact area of concern, a tiny needle is inserted and a small sample of cells are removed and analyzed by a pathologist. This type of biopsy is less invasive than surgical biopsy, and there is little to no scarring.
As with any breast imaging, a breast ultrasound is highly dependent on the skill level and experience of the doctor interpreting the images. Our Los Angeles breast ultrasound imaging team, led by Dr. James Pritchard and Dr. Heather Richardson, are known for their superior diagnostic skills, detailed analysis and lovely, caring manner. They take the needed time with you to ensure that you are well cared for and that all of your questions are answered.
We take pride in our work and look forward to taking excellent care of you with the best breast ultrasound Los Angeles women need at our state-of-the-art Beverly Hills breast center!