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Doctor insights on: How Accurate Is An Ultrasound For Breast Cancer

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How accurate is an ultrasound for breast cancer?

How accurate is an ultrasound for breast cancer?

Very: When ultrasounds are used to evaluate a palpable lump or a mammographic abnormality, a directed ultrasound can very accurately differentiate a benign tumor from a malignant one. Nevertheless, it is best to not rely exclusively on an ultrasound and to proceed to tissue diagnosis via biopsy, especially for women over age 40.

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Dr. Michael Gabor
2,263 Doctors shared insights

Sonogram (Definition)

An ultraound, also known as a sonogram, is a painless and relatively inexpensive imaging test that utilizes sound waves instead of ionizing radiation. There are no side effects. Ultrasound can give us two-dimensional, and in some applications three-dimensional, images of structures and organs in virtually any part of the body. In addition to diagnostic uses, such as evaluating abnormalities in the abdomen, pelvis, and breast, ultrasounds are commonly used to guide needle and catheter placement in a variety of surgical ...Read more


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What is the accuracy of breast cancer ultrasound?

What is the accuracy of breast cancer ultrasound?

It is a complementry: Ultrasound is useful test commonly done after a mammogram. It can make a distinction between solid (likely to be cancer) and cystic (usually benign)strutures. The accuracy of ultrasound is operator dependent...So a good/experienced radiologist can make good use of this test for accurate dignosis.

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Which test is more accurate in detecting breast cancer recurrence: a pet or an ultrasound?

Which test is more accurate in detecting breast cancer recurrence: a pet or an ultrasound?

Depends: This depends on if your are looking for local recurrence in the breast (ultrasound can help) or distant recurrence (in other organs outside the breast)-pet is better. They are both great tests. If you have concerns, I recommend contacting your oncology team and consider getting a second opinion.

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Is it better to have a mammogran or an ultrasound for breast cancer?

Is it better to have a mammogran or an ultrasound for breast cancer?

See: Womenshealth. Gov for good info. Best to start with mammogram and radiologist will obtain other tests as needed.

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What's the difference between mammogram and ultrasound for breast cancer detection?

What's the difference between mammogram and ultrasound for breast cancer detection?

Complementary: A mammogram is an excellent screening test, designed to find cancers before they are palpable. An ultrasound is best utilized for determining the severity of what was seen on mammography. Using the info from both studies, we can then decide if biopsy is necessary. Ultrasound is also a tool to supplement physical exams--it's like a stethoscope for breast surgeons.

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Can ultrasounds miss breast cancer?

Can ultrasounds miss breast cancer?

Yes: U/s is not a great screening test but an extension of the physical exam. It is very dependent upon the person (breast surg vs radiology tech?) doing the u/s, where they place the probe, how fast they move the probe, how much attention they pay to the screen, etc. U/s performed by a skilled breast surgeon can be very helpful and also used to guide sampling for definitive diagnosis and treatment.

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Can breast cancer be detected by ultrasound?

Can breast cancer be detected by ultrasound?

Yes,: Breast ultrasound can detect breast cancer. Reported sensitivities vary, but in general the overall sensitivity for detecting breast cancer ranges from 60-80%, and is similar to mammography. There is some data to suggest ultrasound may perform better than mammography in younger women and in women with dense breasts.

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Will an ultrasound be able to detect breast cancer?

Will an ultrasound be able to detect breast cancer?

Sometimes...: Ultrasound is most useful as a directed test to evaluate a mass seen on mammography or palpated on (self) exam. Info from the ultrasound helps us decide if biopsy is necessary to check for cancer. Ultrasound is also being used to screen for cancers; preliminary results are encouraging, especially in women with dense breasts.

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Cheaper way to diagnose breast cancer other than ultrasound?

Cheaper way to diagnose breast cancer other than ultrasound?

Density, age, fam hx: No and ultrasound alone can't detect all breast cancer. Under 30yo w no fam hx, ultrasound is a good first test. Over 40yo with dense breasts (40% of women) than a 3d tomosynthesis mammogram or 2d mammogram with breast ultrasound. Over 40, not dense, than 2d mammogram. If you have fam hx of breast cancer then you should speak with your doctor about yr risk and possible MRI.

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Is it possible to have breast cancer if it doesn't show up on an ultrasound?

Is it possible to have breast cancer if it doesn't show up on an ultrasound?

Yes: Ultrasound is only one means of evaluation of the breast. Physical examination and mammogram can be more accurate in some settings. Breast MRI is used sometimes. Breast biopsy of a concerning finding may be the only way to confirm that a breast condition is benign or not.

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My ultrasound shows multiple ovoid lesions in both breasts features may present fibrodenomas. Does it increase future risk of breast cancer?

My ultrasound shows multiple ovoid lesions in both breasts features may present fibrodenomas. Does it increase future risk of breast cancer?

Depends: Simple fibroadenomas do not increase risk of breast cancer. However, some fibroadenomas are complex and do have a small increased lifetime risk for cancer. The practical issue is how many, how large and how many to biopsy/sample and how to follow up if they are not removed. Go see a surgical onoclogist or general surgeon with experience and special interest/expertise on breast disease

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How can a ultrasound miss breast cancer?

How can a ultrasound miss breast cancer?

SCREENING BREAST CA: Mammogram is the gold standard for breast cancer screening, ultrasonds are used to differenciate solid/fluid filled cysts and serve that purpose. Ultrasond can miss cancers more often. Mammogams can also miss some early cancers, and has well recognised limitations. So ultrasond and magnetic resonance imaging is used along with mammograms in high risk patients.

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Is mammogram or ultrasound best for early breast cancer detection?

Mammogram: Mammograms are generally better at screening for breast cancer. Ultrasound is used more for a focus evaluation of an area of the breast that might be suspicious or appear abnormal.

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I want to know what is the difference between mammogram and ultrasound when it comes to breast cancer detection?

I want to know what is the difference between mammogram and ultrasound when it comes to breast cancer detection?

Xrays vs ultrasound: Mammograms are images obtained by compressing the breast and exposing the breast tissue to x rays from several directions. Various findings on these x ray images could be a sign of cancer. Ultrasound images are obtained by sending high frequency sound waves into (breast) tissue and capturing reflected sound waves back. These are then used to generate an image. Breast cancer can often be detected.

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Swollen l suprclav node for 3mo. Ultrasound shows it to be1.5cm. Dr says its benign. No breast cancer. What now?!

Swollen l suprclav node for 3mo. Ultrasound shows it to be1.5cm. Dr says its benign. No breast cancer. What now?!

1.5 cm and benign?: Normally, any lymph node greater than 1 cm in the neck is considered suspicious. If it has not grown in three months, that is somewhat reassuring. If it shows any more growth, I would certainly biopsy it. If you biopsied it now, there is probably over a 90% chance that your doctor is right. Weight loss, night sweats, unexplained fevers, sore throat, difficulty swallowing or hoarseness?

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Family history of breast cancer, when to get a mammogram and ultrasound?

Family history of breast cancer, when to get a mammogram and ultrasound?

See below: If you have a first degree relative (mother or sister) who was diagnosed at age <50 then take the age at diagnosis and subtract 10 years. So if your mother was diagnosed at age 46, you would start at age 36. Otherwise, all women should start annual screening mammograms at age 40.

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Small lump upper outer right breast with pain, breast cancer? Getting an ultrasound tomorrow

Small lump upper outer right breast with pain, breast cancer? Getting an ultrasound tomorrow

Unlikely @ your age: Except in cases with strong family history of breast and other cancers. Your test will likely be fine but do get it done, ok? Best to you.

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I had Ultrasound trucut biopsy of breast & histopath report showed Papillary Neoplasm with Calponin & P63 stains negative. Do I have breast cancer?

No enough info.: Papillary neoplasms of the breast can be benign or malignant. When found, these lesions need to be excised both to fully evaluate whether cancer is present and if not, to prevent cancer from forming as they can be pre-malignant. If breast cancer if present, papillary breast cancers usually have a very good prognosis.

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Maybe fibre, irregular shape in my right breast when doing an ultrasound. Mom had breast cancer 4yrs ago and her aunt before. Is a mammogram needed?

Probably not: For the average risk woman, screening mammo should begin at 40. For very high risk patients, for example BRCA gene carriers, screening can begin earlier. Have your doctor assess your risk profile to see where you fit in.

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,330 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


Dr. Barry Rosen
1,373 Doctors shared insights

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more