Learn About Breast Cancer Screening

Is there insurance reimbursement?2023-06-30T09:04:42-07:00

Reimbursement will vary depending on the insurance carrier using CPT Code 76641 (ultrasound, breast, unilateral to include axilla when performed, complete) and charged for each breast. Visit SonoCine’s Reimbursement page to learn more.

Is every lesion cancerous?2023-06-30T09:14:35-07:00

No, many lesions are benign, including calcium deposits and fluid-filled cysts. Ultrasound provides greater detail for many lesions suspected of being benign, but in some cases – especially when lesions appear irregular in shape – a biopsy will be needed to make sure the lesion is not cancerous.

Does the SonoCine work by itself?2023-07-18T08:58:30-07:00

No, the SonoCine uses a computer-guided arm to perform scans, but the ultrasound technician is still present to ensure the arm is properly placed and to guide you through the exam.

Is the SonoCine technology approved by the FDA for breast exams?2023-10-19T08:35:54-07:00

SonoCine AWBUS technology received FDA clearance in 2008. SonoCine AWBUS has FDA 510k clearance: “The SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound System is indicated for use as an adjunct to mammography, but is not intended to be used as a replacement for screening mammography.”

I don’t have a family history of breast cancer; do I still need to be screened?2023-06-30T09:13:10-07:00

New American College of Radiology® (ACR®) breast cancer screening guidelines now call for all women, particularly Black and Ashkenazi Jewish women, to have risk assessment by age 25 to determine if screening earlier than age 40 is needed. The ACR continues to recommend annual screening starting at age 40 for women of average risk, but earlier and more intensive screening for high-risk patients.

Is the exam covered by insurance?2023-06-30T09:12:47-07:00

Insurance coverage depends on the individual’s insurance provider and coverage. We currently do not accept insurance, but can provide a superbill which can be used to file a claim with your insurance provider.

Is there compression or does it hurt?2023-07-18T08:57:43-07:00

You will feel a light pressure as the technologist passes the transducer over your breasts. This is a painless procedure.

  • SonoCine is safe, using only simple sound waves
  • SonoCine is comfortable – No compression
  • No injections
  • No radiation
What happens if a mammogram or SonoCine reveals a lesion in my breast tissue?2023-07-07T15:05:20-07:00

In some cases, benign (non-cancerous) lumps and nodules may be diagnosed from visual characteristics. Ultrasound is an excellent diagnostic tool that may prevent an unnecessary biopsy. But in other cases, you may need a biopsy to determine if the lesion is cancerous. Biopsies can also determine the type of breast cancer that’s present and how aggressive it may be. Depending on the results of the biopsy, you may also be advised to have biopsies of lymph nodes to determine if the cancer may have spread.

Do I still need a mammogram?2023-07-18T08:56:40-07:00

Yes. SonoCine AWBUS is an adjunct to mammography for women whose mammograms may be inconclusive due to dense breast tissue and/or implants. Ultrasound and mammography show specific areas of interest differently, and are therefore both important.

Does Sono Center treat breast cancer?2023-06-30T09:11:11-07:00

No, Sono Center is a radiology facility, where breast screening is performed.

What is SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound?2023-07-18T08:56:12-07:00

The SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (AWBUS) is an FDA Cleared adjunct screening solution. This technology is a computer-guided ultrasound system designed to be used in addition to your traditional mammogram. SonoCine AWBUS uses a robotic process that captures thousands of high-resolution images in rows that are then stitched together into a movie by software that the radiologist then reads. It was designed to provide greater visual detail of breast tissue, especially for women with dense breast tissue or implants where mammograms may have difficulty providing clear, detailed images. This powerful process allows small invasive cancers to be caught early.

How is the SonoCine system different from other types of ultrasound?2023-07-18T08:55:45-07:00

Traditional ultrasounds use a handheld transducer that relies on the technologist to evaluate specific areas of tissue. While ultrasound technologists are highly trained, traditional ultrasounds on dense tissue and tissue obscured by implants can be especially problematic. The SonoCine system uses an automated, computer-controlled arm to gently guide the transducer over breast tissue, ensuring every area is scanned for maximum detail and accuracy.

Does the SonoCine AWBUS use radiation like a mammogram?2023-07-18T09:00:57-07:00

No, the SonoCine only uses ultrasound, so there’s no need to worry about radiation exposure. Plus, because it doesn’t compress the breast tissue between plates like a mammogram does, it’s painless.

What is the SonoCine procedure like?2023-07-18T09:01:38-07:00

Dr. Kelly developed the SonoCine approach to be painless and stress-free. If you’ve ever had an ultrasound, you have a good idea of what to expect during a SonoCine breast cancer screening. A special camisole is worn and the transducer is connected to an automated arm that gently moves across the surface of the breast. The device emits painless sound waves that “bounce off” breast tissue to create images that are recorded and compressed into a “movie” of the breast tissue that is watched by a radiologist, not a technologist. The procedure takes about a half hour or less.

Can the SonoCine AWBUS be used in place of a mammogram?2023-07-07T15:04:52-07:00

No. SonoCine AWBUS was designed to be used in conjunction with traditional mammograms, providing additional detail for breast tissue that is difficult to evaluate with mammogram alone.

What happens after the evaluation is completed?2023-06-30T09:08:44-07:00

Your results can be shared electronically with your primary care provider and you’ll have an ongoing record of your breast health. You must follow up with your primary provider for further recommendations.

Who should consider getting a SonoCine exam?2023-07-07T15:04:41-07:00
  • Women with dense breast tissue
  • Women with family history of breast cancer
  • Women with breast implants
  • Women who want their entire breast scanned
Where can I get a scan?2023-06-30T09:07:51-07:00

Our office is located on 960 E Green Street. #166, Pasadena CA 91106.

What is breast density?2023-06-30T09:07:21-07:00

Breast density is a measure used to describe the proportion of different tissues that make up your breasts. Breast density is not a measure of how your breasts look or feel, but rather how they appear on a mammogram.

How is SonoCine better than a handheld ultrasound?2023-07-18T08:53:27-07:00

The SonoCine system is designed to overcome the inconsistencies that result from handheld scanning. The inherent complexity of hand scanning detracts from the ability to recognize subtle findings of cancer. SonoCine technology robotically scans the entirety of both breasts to include the axilla (underarms) and records approximately 3,000 images, which are displayed in a movie format for the radiologist to review.

How much does it cost for a SonoCine scan?2023-07-07T15:04:28-07:00

The cost of the examination is $450.

How long does the exam take?2023-06-30T09:06:28-07:00

Plan on being in the exam room for approximately 30 minutes. The examination itself is quick, but time is needed for preparation and removal of the camisole and ultrasound gel at completion of examination.

Is the exam for women with implants?2023-07-18T08:52:36-07:00

Yes, women with implants are good candidates for SonoCine AWBUS. Evidence suggests that suspicious masses can be more difficult to detect with implants much like in dense tissue, and there is no danger of damaging the implants.

What age should I start breast cancer screening exams?2023-06-30T08:54:02-07:00

New American College of Radiology® (ACR®) breast cancer screening guidelines now call for all women, particularly Black and Ashkenazi Jewish women, to have risk assessment by age 25 to determine if screening earlier than age 40 is needed. The ACR continues to recommend annual screening starting at age 40 for women of average risk, but earlier and more intensive screening for high-risk patients.

Who performs the actual exam?2023-06-30T09:02:42-07:00

One of our trained ultrasound technologists will guide you through the process and will perform the exam. Click here to learn more about our team.

Who is a good candidate for automated whole breast ultrasound?2023-07-18T08:51:56-07:00

Whole breast ultrasound can be used as an adjunct to regular mammograms on any woman to gain a clearer picture of her breast tissue, but the technology was specifically designed for women with dense breast tissue or breast implants. For these women, obtaining clear, accurate, detailed images of breast tissue with a mammogram alone has been difficult. That’s because the implants or dense tissue are more difficult to penetrate with traditional mammogram technology. SonoCine was developed to painlessly visualize breast tissue regardless of density or implants, producing clear, accurate, detailed images so women can feel confident about their diagnoses.

What is the difference between SonoCine AWBUS and Mammography?2023-07-18T08:51:31-07:00

SonoCine is an ultrasound technology, uses no x-rays and has no radiation, has no painful compression, and reliably finds 4-10mm breast cancers in all breast tissue types and women with implants.

Mammography is an x-ray technology with painful compression, and misses 50% of the small, easily treatable cancers in women with dense breast tissue or implants.

How does SonoCine compare with competing technology?2023-07-18T08:50:27-07:00

Read about how SonoCine AWBUS compares.

Still can’t find an answer?

Send your question through our contact form and we’ll be glad to help provide an answer or point you in the right direction. We look forward to hearing from you.