It's hard to know the difference between a breast ultrasound and a mammogram and which one is best for you. Both are procedures to check up on your breast health, but they are in fact different.
A study in Connecticut recently studied the effectiveness of screening breast ultrasounds as compared to mammography to help us understand this difference more clearly. By following seven radiology practices in Connecticut over two years, the study found that women with 50% breast density of greater had a clearer reading on a screening breast ultrasound. The screening breast ultrasounds detected an additional 3.4 cancers per one thousand woman screened. That means, of the 19,745 women who participated in the study, about 67 lives were potentially saved by the screening ultrasound.
Over the two years, the researchers noted an increase in sensitivity from 96.6% to 100% and specificity from 94% to 96%. The researchers expect to see even more increase in the years to come.
So what does this mean? Using these scans, physicians can more easily determine which lesions are benign and malignant. Connecticut now mandates a breast density record on mammograms and recommends follow-ups for women with more than 50% breast density. What do they recommend? Screening breast ultrasounds.
To read more about the study, you can see the article here.