We are very excited to be offering screening ultrasound for many reasons.
Breast tissue is composed of non-dense tissue (fat) and dense tissue (the milk secreting part of the breast). Density of the breast is an individual characteristic like height or hair color. Young women tend to have dense breasts and older women tend to have more of a fatty, or low-density breast. Women often convert from dense to intermediate to low density during the course of their lifetime, but it occurs at a different rate and at a different time for each woman. Some women never become less dense due to genetic makeup and fibrocystic changes which lead, if you like, to scarring of the breast.
In women with dense breasts, mammograms are more difficult to interpret because it can be difficult to “see through” the dense tissue (white on the mammogram). Tumors also are dense tissue and appear as white areas on the film. This can make it more difficult to detect a tumor in dense breasts because it looks a lot like the dense tissue that surrounds it.
That is why we are very excited to announce that Breastnet is now offering screening ultrasound on our new SonoCiné Whole Breast Ultrasound Machine. The SonoCiné Method provides an additional examination, which finds small cancers that mammography may miss. It is not a replacement for screening mammography, but an additional exam for women with “dense” breasts.
Studies in dense-breasted women show that ultrasound can find between 2 and 3 times as many cancers again as are visible on a mammogram. The SonoCiné Method requires no breast compression, no injections, takes about 30 minutes to perform and is permanently recorded for our radiologists review. In high-risk women, it is a more affordable alternative to a breast MRI.
Since we know that finding cancers when they are small saves lives, adding a screening ultrasound to your yearly breast health program provides extra peace of mind. When you come in for your mammogram, we will let you know if you have dense breasts and if you are a candidate for this exam.
Let us know if you are interested in a screening ultrasound and we will let you know if this exam is right for you!