Ultrasound has become a valuable tool to use along with mammography because it is widely available and less expensive than other options, such as MRI. Usually, breast ultrasound is used to target a specific area of concern found on the mammogram. Ultrasound helps distinguish between cysts (fluid-filled sacs) and solid masses and sometimes can help tell the difference between benign and cancerous tumors. In someone with a breast tumor, it can also be used to look for enlarged lymph nodes under the arm.This test is painless and does not expose you to radiation.
Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make images of the breast. It is non-invasive and often used as a follow-up test after an abnormal finding on a mammogram, breast MRI or clinical breast exam. If a needle biopsy is needed, breast ultrasound may also be used to help guide the procedure.
An ultrasound does not replace the need for a mammogram, but it is often used to check abnormal results from a mammogram.
For women with dense breast tissue, breast ultrasound imaging can be very useful. Ultrasound can penetrate through the thickness and find nodules that may be hiding amongst the fibrous tissue.