Benefiting From Breast Ultrasound

geral Member Posts: 130
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi ya'll! Dr. Susan Drossman, Breast Radiologist was on 'The Today Show' (NBC)this a.m. She discussed mammos-vs-ultrasounds with Katie Couric. I was so thrilled to hear such an important subject broadcasted for thousands of women to hear! If you missed it, please take time to check the website '' and scroll down to 'Benefiting From Breast Cancer'. Some of you know I had a core biopsy recently which was BENIGN! The mass was detected by ultrasound but did not show on the mammo. As most of you know, an ultrasound is usually only performed if something shows on the mammo. Because I've been in pain since my lumpectomy 2 yrs. ago, I requested an ultrasound which was the only reason it was done. Otherwise, this mass would not have been detected because it was not palpable. My 1st mass (2 yrs. ago)was not detected by mammo either, and it WAS cancer. Fortunately, it was palpable, & I found it 5 mos. later. I'm not knocking mammos! I plan to continue to have them. However, I think most women are not aware of the adv/disadv of each. Ultrasounds are very effective in women with dense breast tissue because the mammos can't always see thru the density. I didn't even know that I had dense breast tissue 'til after my cancer diagnosis, and I'd already had a few mammos in prior years. My guess is the tumor would've been discovered on an ultrasound. Instead, I found it accidentally! I wish that all women could have both. Especially us survivors & other women who are at high risk! Unfortunately, insurance companies think otherwise. I plan on continuing to ask for both even if I have to pay out-of-pocket. I've got a followup mammo & ultrasound scheduled for 6 mos. from now for a new baseline since my biopsy. I was so relieved when the dr. said 'and ultrasound'. If any of you can't get to the msnbc website or by the time you do, that subject has been deleted, e-mail me if you have any questions. Take care, Geral


  • belle20904
    belle20904 Member Posts: 12

    Thanks for the info about ultrasounds! I have dense breasts too and have an upcoming physical. Cancer runs in my family (both of my grandmothers and my mom died of cancer) and I had squamous cell skin cancer removed from my neck this past spring. I'm fine now but when it comes to cancer I believe early detection is a really good thing! I'll ask my doctor about having an ultrasound in addition to my mammogram. Thanks again -

    Belle 20904
  • hummingbyrd
    hummingbyrd Member Posts: 950 Member
    Just thought I'd add CAD mammo. It's a computer aided detection where they take the mammo films after the MD reads them, run it through a computer, where I think it is digitalized, and points out any suspicious areas the MD might take a 2nd look at for tumors. Plus an USG (ultrasound) and you should be pretty well covered. Check w/ your hospital, not everyone is doing them yet. 'On the edge' Hummingbyrd. HA!
    We all need to keep each other
    up to date, eh?
  • ksfc
    ksfc Member Posts: 251
    I too was so glad to see this information getting out. I had two years of "diagnostic" mammograms because of both the doctor's and my suspicions before anything further was suggested. At that time I had an ultrasound and an ultrasound guided core biopsy which confirmed cancer.
    The cancer was so readily apparent on the ultrasound and hindsight being 20/20, the docs could find it on the mammogram after seeing it on the ultrasound. It sure would have been nice to have had the ultrasound in the first round and possibly have avoided lymph node involvement. Diane
  • 24242
    24242 Member Posts: 1,398
    I seemed to be part of a study done in bc Canada some 6 year ago about this very subject. My cancer was not detected with mammography so was put through altrasound to see if it could be seen there and it was. Plane as Day it was, both lumps could be seen the second lump in armpit would not be detected because mammagram wouldn't reach it. Interesting how long it takes to get things known across all boarders.
    The medical community did a great disservice by telling young women not to look for lumps because self checking wasn't finding the lumps which was so wrong. In younger women that is all we have are our self exams to ensure us of our health. I found mine at 35 years of age not a doctor or machine and I have heard this is most common in younger women. Get the message out we have to be the ones to check and bring up concerns to doctors long before symptoms are showing of being ill. That is the best that we can do.
  • nancur
    nancur Member Posts: 2
    My cancer did not show up on ultrasound either. My doctor suggested having MRI's regularly instead of ultrasound. Does anyone know what the benefit is - I can't remember what the reason was, but I'll be sure to ask at my next appointment!