How do we diagnose a Breast Lump?
In women over 40 years of age, mammography is the primary study used to examine the breasts. In diagnostic mammography, x-rays of the affected breast are taken at different angles. If mammography alone cannot identify the source of the lump, or if the lump is suspicious, further imaging exams will need to be performed.
In patients with breast lumps that cannot be identified on mammography or those that are suspicious on mammography, breast ultrasound is usually the next step. Ultrasound does not produce radiation and instead uses high frequency soundwaves to image the breast with a high level of detail. In women under 30 years of age, ultrasound is typically used as the first-line imaging due to the lack of radiation, as well as the higher density of breast tissue in younger women.