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This is an examination using high-resolution ultrasound equipment to assess the breast tissue in patients who have breast symptoms or where additional imaging information is required (see indications, below). It is particularly useful in younger patients who generally have denser breasts where mammography may miss focal pathology, keeping unnecessary radiation exposure to a minimum.
Breast ultrasound is the preferred imaging technique in patients whose breasts contain dense glandular tissue, such as those aged younger than 35 years or in lactating breasts. It is useful in the following clinical situations:
Patients who have symptoms, clinical concern or clinical signs related to one or both breasts.
There are no absolute contraindications.
There are no medical contraindications, but some patients may feel uncomfortable about the procedure unless they are appropriately chaperoned.
There are no adverse effects of a breast ultrasound.
Breast ultrasound is often complementary to other breast imaging as a problem solving and biopsy guidance tool (see prerequisites, above). In patients with a normal ultrasound examination who have symptoms or clinical abnormalities related to one or both breasts, then mammography, tomosynthesis or MRI may be required for further diagnostic assessment.
Cancer Australia – Breast Cancer
Diagnostic Imaging Pathways
Page last modified on 31/8/2018.
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RANZCR® intends by this statement to exclude liability for any such opinions, advices or information. The content of this publication is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. It is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient and his/her doctor. Some of the tests and procedures included in this publication may not be available at all radiology providers.
RANZCR® recommends that any specific questions regarding any procedure be discussed with a person's family doctor or medical specialist. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, RANZCR®, its Board, officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use, or interpretation. Each person should rely on their own inquires before making decisions that touch their own interests.