Ultrasound

"I know the feeling that you must be having if you've just been diagnosed or you have a loved one that's just been diagnosed with breast cancer."

In February 2002, Patsy discovered a lump and scheduled a mammogram with her doctor. The doctor performed a biopsy and diagnosed Patsy with Stage 2 breast cancer. Watch Patsy's story and learn how she was not alone in her diagnosis.

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"I know the feeling that you must be having if you've just been diagnosed or you have a loved one that's just been diagnosed with breast cancer."

In February 2002, Patsy discovered a lump and scheduled a mammogram with her doctor. The doctor performed a biopsy and diagnosed Patsy with Stage 2 breast cancer. Watch Patsy's story and learn how she was not alone in her diagnosis.

How does an ultrasound help to diagnose a breast lump?

When a suspicious site is detected in your breast through a breast self-exam or on a screening mammogram, your doctor may request an ultrasound of the breast tissue. A breast ultrasound is a scan that uses penetrating sound waves that do not affect or damage the tissue and cannot be heard by humans. The breast tissue deflects these waves causing echoes, which a computer uses to paint a picture of what’s going on inside the breast tissue. A mass filled with liquid shows up differently than a solid mass.

Ultrasound Results: Breast Sonogram

The detailed picture generated by the ultrasound is called a “sonogram.” Ultrasounds are helpful when a lump is large enough to be easily felt, and the images can be used to further evaluate the abnormality.

A breast ultrasound can provide evidence about whether the lump is a solid mass, a cyst filled with fluid, or a combination of the two. While cysts are typically not cancerous, a solid lump may be a cancerous tumor. Healthcare professionals also use this diagnostic method to help measure the exact size and location of the lump and get a closer look at the surrounding tissue.

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