Women with dense breasts have always been at risk for false-negative mammograms and delayed diagnosis of cancer. An important new study has found that in women with dense breasts, adding a simple breast ultrasound to annual screening can find almost 30% more cancers than mammograms alone. Of note, ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves rather than radiation to image the inside of the breast, so that adding this test does not increase radiation exposure.
The key to fighting invasive and potentially lethal breast cancer is finding it before it spreads to lymph nodes. Properly read mammograms and ultrasounds can help to make an early, life saving and perhaps breast saving diagnosis.