Early detection is key with all kinds of cancer, but especially breast cancer. The American Cancer Society says that when breast cancer can be detected early, in the localized stage, the five-year relative survival rate is at 99 percent. Early detection is dependent on many things, such as monthly breast self-exams, and getting regular clinical breast exams and mammograms. Breast ultrasounds using state-of-the-art technology like the SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (SonoCine AWBUS) are also a vital tool in the early detection of breast cancer, especially in women with dense breasts.

About one in eight females in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, points out the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Yet, the cure rate is highest when caught in its earliest stages. Now, thanks to amazing advancements in technology (i.e., SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (SonoCine AWBUS™), breast cancer is being spotted earlier than ever before.

AWBUS is a computer-guided ultrasound system that radiologists can use on women as a complement to traditional mammograms. The robotic process involved with this advanced piece of technology is able to snap thousands of high-resolution images in rows, which can then be put together into a “movie” of sorts, fueled by powerful software easily readable by radiologists.

Because this movie affords technicians with clearer visual detail of breast tissue, they can detect small, invasive cancers earlier than is possible with traditional tools like mammograms.

Breast cancer is often found after symptoms are evident, but many women with cancer do not have symptoms. This is why routine breast cancer screening is so important.

Why Early Detection is Critical

There are many reasons why early detection of breast cancer is so critical, but the main reason is that women are afforded more treatment options that are less aggressive yet still maintain positive treatment outcomes. With a better chance of survival, early detection can save countless lives.

Breast cancers that are detected because they cause symptoms are usually larger and more advanced. However, breast cancers detected during screening exams are typically smaller and confined to the breast. When cancer hasn’t had a chance to spread to lymph nodes and other areas of the body, the treatment outcomes offer a much higher rate of success.

Breast cancer that has been diagnosed at an earlier stage, when not too large and has not spread, is more likely to have successful treatment. Because finding cancer early can save your life, talk to your doctor if you have noticed any abnormality or change in your breasts. They can refer you to us for breast ultrasound, or you can make an appointment on your own if you choose.

When Are Breast Ultrasounds Used?

While not typically used as a routine breast cancer screening test, breast ultrasounds are often very useful for assessing certain breast changes, such as lumps that can be felt but cannot be seen on a mammogram. Ultrasound is particularly helpful in women who have dense breast tissue, which is about 40 percent of the female population.

This dense breast tissue makes it difficult to spot abnormal areas of concern on mammograms. Radiologists will often turn to breast ultrasound to get a better look at any suspicious areas that the mammogram may have alluded to. Ultrasound allows technicians to decipher differences between fluid-filled masses such as cysts (unlikely to be cancerous) and solid masses (which could be cancerous but need further testing).

Breast ultrasound can also be used in needle biopsies for better guidance. It doesn’t expose women to radiation so it can be done as often as desired.

It’s performed with a handheld, wand-like instrument known as a transducer. Gel is applied to the skin so the technician can better guide the transducer, which emits sound waves and picks up echoes as they bounce off your body tissues under the skin. These echoes form a picture on the screen.

However, with AWBUS, our transducer is much larger and can take thousands of images covering the entire breast and surrounding areas to create a movie of results.

Book Your Breast Ultrasound at the Sono Center Today

We would be happy to discuss with you how SonoCine AWBUS can detect breast cancer earlier than ever before, especially if you have dense breasts. Please book your appointment online or call us at (626) 381-9430. Our breast screening process can give you peace of mind with the early detection of breast cancers most frequently missed with mammography.

Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.