What are breast ultrasounds and mammograms?
The breast cancer diagnostic test best suited to you depends on your age, your symptoms, and the structure of your breasts. As a rule of thumb, a breast ultrasound is more accurate in women younger than 45 years. A mammography is preferred in women older than 45 years.
An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves on the breast and converts them into images. A mammography uses low-dose X-ray to produce breast images known as a mammogram.
As a rule of thumb, a breast ultrasound is more accurate in women younger than 45 years. A mammography is preferred in women older than 45 years. Therefore, the investigation best suited to you depends on your age, your symptoms, and the structure of your breasts.
Often, for women with dense breasts or those with a history of scarred tissues in the breast, a sonography is a better option than a mammography.
Your doctor may supplement your mammography with sonography or vice versa to be sure of any lump in the breast.
Advantages and disadvantages of ultrasound and mammogram
Some of the disadvantages of mammogram include:
Disadvantages of an ultrasound include:
Physicians will never advise replacing a mammogram with an ultrasound. It is always better to use both tests. Mammograms are the most common screening tool in the United States and other developed countries. However, in developing countries, women might not have access to a mammogram or may not be able to afford it. Hence, an ultrasound would be the most feasible option in such countries.
Where a mammography is available, an ultrasound should be a supplemental test. An ultrasound should be done for women with dense breasts who do not meet high-risk criteria for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening. Moreover, it should be done for high-risk women with dense breasts who are unable to tolerate an MRI.
Who should consider breast cancer screening?
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in American women. It is cancer that starts in the tissue of the breast. Breast cancer mainly affects the tube that carries milk to the nipple (ducts) and glands that make milk (lobules). Some of the risk factors associated with breast cancer include:
Those women are at a high risk of breast cancer who have
- A known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
- A family history of breast cancer.
- Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years.
- An ongoing genetic disease such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
- A personal history of breast cancer.
Medically Reviewed on 1/29/2021
- No Omicron cases in India yet, says health minister Mansukh Mandaviya - December 1, 2021
- Covid infection linked with increased complications in pregnancy, birth: Study - December 1, 2021
- Karnataka CM to meet Union Health Minister to discuss administration of booster dose of COVID vaccine - December 1, 2021
- Four passengers from UK, Netherlands test positive for Covid, samples sent for genome sequencing - December 1, 2021
- Testing kits can detect Omicron: Mylab - November 30, 2021
- Can RT-PCR tests detect Omicron variant infection? - November 30, 2021
- Moderna CEO warns COVID-19 shots less effective against Omicron, spooks markets - November 30, 2021
- Mandatory face masks in force as Omicron cases rise to 14 in UK - November 30, 2021
- Delhi: Seven Covid deaths in November - November 30, 2021
- 116 more test COVID positive at Karnataka’s medical college - November 26, 2021