What are breast ultrasounds and mammograms?
An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves on the breast and converts them into images. A mammography uses low-dose X-ray to produce breast images known as a mammogram.
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
- A known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
- A family history of breast cancer.
- Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years.
- An ongoing genetic disease such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.
- A personal history of breast cancer.
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Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
What you should know about breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are unknown, although medical professionals have identified a number of risk factors.
- There are 11 common types of breast cancer and 4 uncommon types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer early signs and symptoms include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin (peau d'orange),
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer can also be symptom free, which makes following national screening recommendations an important practice.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by a self-exam of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
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What Should I Know About Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer of American women, but it can also occur in men. Every year in the U.S., there are over 266,000 new diagnoses of breast cancer. A woman has a risk of one in eight for developing breast cancer at some point during her lifetime.
Breast Lumps (in Women)Breast lumps in women can have a variety of causes such as breast inflammation, infection, injuries, cancer, and non-cancerous growths. Breast lumps in women are diagnosed with physical exam, mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy. Treatment of breast lumps in women depend on the cause.
MammogramMammogram is a test that produces an image of the breast tissue on film. The technique is referred to as mammography. Mammography can visualize normal and abnormal structures within the breast such as cysts, calcifications, and tumors looking for breast cancer. The first baseline mammogram for a woman should be between the ages of 35 to 40.
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- heart valve irregularities,
- carotid artery disease,
- heart disease,
- kidney stones,
- liver disease,
- diseases of the female reproductive, and
- diseases of the male reproductive organs.
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What Are The Five Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer?The majority of breast cancer patients first seek diagnosis because of a lump on the breast. This is one of the five warning signs of breast cancer. Others include changes in the nipple, changes in the breast skin and other symptoms.
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