A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the
breast. A breast ultrasound can show all areas of the breast, including the
area close to the chest wall.
A breast ultrasound is most often
used to check a breast lump found on breast self-examination, physical
examination, or on a mammogram. An ultrasound can tell if a breast lump is
filled with fluid (a cyst) or is solid. A lump that has no fluid or that has
fluid with floating particles may need more tests.
ultrasound does not cause pain. A small handheld unit called a transducer is
gently passed over the breast. A computer converts the sound waves into a
picture that is shown on a TV screen. The picture is called a sonogram or
Breast ultrasound does not use X-rays or other
potentially harmful types of radiation.