For those women who have dense breast tissue an automated breast ultrasound is state of the art. It is FDA approved and is able to detect breast cancers not easily found with a mammogram. If your OBGYN prescribes one for you, here is what to expect during an automated breast ultrasound.
What Makes ABUS Different?
During a mammogram, dense tissue and masses all appear white which makes it difficult to find a suspicious lump. An automated breast ultrasound supplements the mammogram and is a non-invasive way to look at internal organs and tissue.
Mammograms can miss between 37 and 70% of breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue which obscures tumors. This results in many false positives and biopsies increasing health care costs and patient anxiety.
The radiologist who will read the ABUS can look at hundreds of “slices” of breast tissue to find any cancerous tumors which wouldn’t be seen on a simple mammogram.
It is an alternative to a hand-held ultrasound, and it uses high frequency sound waves to target the breast tissue producing 3D images of the entire breast.
How Will The Procedure Be Different From A Mammogram?
ABUS is safe, painless, and radiation free so there should be no concerns. With an automated breast ultrasound you will lie down rather than stand at the machine.
With each new patient a new disposable scan screen is replaced in the machine. These screens are flexible and made from a polyester mesh which fits comfortably on the breast. It allows the radiologist to get the best images.
A layer of ultrasound lotion is applied on your breasts by the technician. The total time for the ultrasound is approximately 15 minutes or less.
Other Benefits Of ABUS
An automatic breast ultrasound uses no compression like a mammogram. It is safe for pregnant women, younger women, and even lactating women. It can even serve women who have had breast implants or have post-operative scarring.
Most importantly, ABUS improves early detection of breast cancer.
Talk with your OBGYN about whether an automated breast ultrasound is right for you.