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A 30-year-old member asked:

How does a mammogram differ from an ultrasound in diagnosing breast lumps?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Orr
Surgical Oncology 44 years experience
Xrays - sound waves: Mammography uses x rays to image the breast and ultrasound uses sound waves. Mammography is more sensitive to picking up cancers but does involve small doses of radiation.Us has no side effects, but is not nearly as sensitive in picking up small cancers. Us is best use to characterise a problem that is picked up on examination (or by the patient) or mammo. Very good for determining cyst vs. Solid.
Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology 33 years experience
A mammogram: is a low dose xray of the breast. Mammos are the current standard for screening. Ultrasound uses sound waves to generate images. Currently US is mainly used to further evaluate abnormalities on mammo and/or physical exam, and for screening in limited circumstances. US is good at determining whether nodules are cystic or solid, which mammo can't do.

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Last updated Jun 22, 2017

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