There are many reasons why you may need a breast ultrasound, from having dense breast tissue to being pregnant to having implants. Sometimes doctors recommend a breast ultrasound in conjunction with a mammogram, while other times, women decide for their own peace of mind to get a breast ultrasounds, especially when there is a family history of breast cancer, for example.

Let’s go over the many reasons why you may be a good candidate for a breast ultrasound such as SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (SonoCine AWBUS).

Change Felt But Not Seen on Mammogram

A breast ultrasound can be used as a follow-up tool when a change has been detected on a mammogram or when a change has been felt yet doesn’t show up on a mammogram. Breast ultrasound should not be used in place of mammograms but as a complementary tool. Further investigation on ultrasound may be recommended when a focal area in the breast appeared abnormal on a mammogram.

Dense Breasts

If you have particularly dense breast tissue, which many women do, a mammogram is not always the best at seeing through the tissue. About half of women over 40 who get mammograms have dense breast tissue, according to the National Cancer Institute, so it’s a fairly common condition.


Radiologists may have trouble seeing breast tissue on mammogram due to the presence of implants. Ultrasound can provide a clearer view.


Because mammography uses radiation and ultrasound does not, it’s safer for pregnant women and the fetus to have a breast ultrasound instead.

Family History of Breast Cancer

Those with a family history of breast cancer may be put on an accelerated schedule of mammogram and breast ultrasound exams to keep an eye on things.


Ultrasound may be used when checking if a lump is a fluid-filled cyst (typically not cancerous) or a solid mass (needs further testing).

Needle Guidance

Pathologists may need to use breast ultrasound to guide a needle into a mass in order to sample tissue for biopsy and determine if that mass is breast cancer. Ultrasound provides real-time images, which is why it’s often used to guide biopsy procedures.

Breast Abnormalities Detected in Exam

If a breast abnormality is detected during a physical exam, such as a lump or spontaneous bloody or clear nipple discharge, an ultrasound can help with a diagnosis.


Breast ultrasound is typically used as a first imaging modality in patients under 30 years old who have breast symptoms. Screening ultrasound can also be used for high-risk women who cannot have breast MRI.

Why Ultrasound?

While not typically used as a routine screening test for breast cancer, breast ultrasound is helpful when looking at breast changes like lumps that females can feel but that cannot be seen on mammogram, or in those with dense breast tissue. These and more circumstances make it difficult to detect abnormal areas on traditional mammograms, points out the American Cancer Society.

Ultrasounds offer a clearer view of suspicious areas that were initially spotted on a mammogram, using a high degree of accuracy. SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (SonoCine AWBUS™), used here at the Sono Center, operates on technology that is 300 percent more accurate than mammography when it comes to detecting small (less than 1cm) invasive cancers.

This tool detects the difference between fluid-filled masses (such as cysts that are rarely cancerous) and solid masses (which could be cancerous but would need further testing).

The SonoCine Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (SonoCine AWBUS) is a computer-guided ultrasound system used in addition to traditional mammograms, providing greater visual detail of the breast tissue. If you have dense breast tissue or implants, this can be a life-saving tool.

It’s FDA-cleared for all dense-breasted women, and provides whole breast coverage, including the underarm, clavicle, in between the breasts, the sides of the breasts, and all the way back to the chest wall. As a result, this technology can pick up on small cancers even before mammography can. This is what sets the SonoCine AWBUS exam apart from other ultrasound exams.

Book Your Breast Ultrasound at the Sono Center Today

We focus on preventive healthcare here at the Sono Center. Come in for a consultation and learn why SonoCine AWBUS gives women just like you peace of mind. Please book your appointment online or call us at (626) 381-9430. We specialize in breast screening and the early detection of breast cancers that are 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.