Ultrasound for Problem Solving in Breast Imaging
As an adjunct to mammography, diagnostic ultrasound is
extremely valuable in demonstrating palpable masses not
seen at the time of mammography or masses that can not
be optimally evaluated by mammography. These situations
commonly occur in the dense breast or augmented breast
or with peripherally located lesions. Although it is uncommon,
some cancers may be detected only with ultrasound. Ultrasound
is also indispensable in the characterization of non-palpable
masses seen on mammography. It can determine whether the
mass is cystic or solid. Ultrasound can further characterize
the mass whether it is more likely benign or cancerous
in correlation with mammography, and minimize the number
of women subjected to surgical biopsy. Sonographic characteristics
of benign and malignant lesions is well established recently.
In addition, ultrasound is used to guide accurately for
cyst aspiration or needle biopsy. At times pre-op wire
localization can be performed only with ultrasound. Ultrasound
is often the initial study instead of mammography in patients
under 30 years with a palpable lesion who are not at increased
risk of breast cancer.
Bon C. Koo, M.D.
Drs. Hill & Thomas Co.
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