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Breast Sonography: Diagnostic Applications and Considerations

Mark P. Bowes, PhD

*Medical Writer, Portland, Oregon.
Address correspondence to: Mark P. Bowes, PhD, Medical Writer, 7135 SE 18th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202. E-mail: mpbowes@gmail.com.
Disclosure Statement: Dr Bowes reports having no financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Sonography is widely used in the assessment of benign and malignant breast masses and cysts, and is especially important as a complementary imaging method with mammography and magnetic resonance imaging for the screening and management of breast cancer. Ultrasound has long been used to guide tissue specimen collection during breast biopsy procedures, and has increasingly been used as a valuable supplemental breast cancer screening tool in women with dense breast tissue and negative mammogram findings. Breast sonography is also used in other settings, including the staging of patients with breast cancer and during breast surgery. Sonography is widely available, well tolerated by patients, and relatively inexpensive. This article provides an overview and update on breast sonography, including the application of different sonography techniques, sonographic characteristics of different lesion types, medical and legal issues related to the use of breast sonography in breast cancer screening, and clinical considerations in breast sonography. 

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