What are breast ultrasounds and mammograms?
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:
- Increasing age
- A family history of the disease on the mother’s side
- A known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation
- Menarche at an early age
- Late pregnancy or never having given birth
- Not breastfeeding the child
- Use of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages
Those women are at a high risk of breast cancer who have
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors