Screening Breast Ultrasounds at KCBC Are Safe & Noninvasive
Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center is proud to provide state-of-the-art breast cancer ultrasounds at our Knoxville, TN facility. A breast ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create breast tissue images in real-time. This safe, non-invasive diagnostic imaging tool is often recommended after breast abnormalities have been discovered during a physical exam or mammogram. Breast ultrasounds can help diagnose breast cancer symptoms, monitor the size of cysts or lumps in the breasts, and guide the needle placement during a biopsy procedure. If you are considered at high risk for breast cancer and cannot undergo a breast MRI due to pregnancy or other health concerns, ultrasound can be a valuable breast cancer screening tool. Talk to our team today to learn more.
Who Benefits Most from Additional Breast Ultrasound Images?
Although every woman has a unique mammographic pattern, there are four basic breast pattern types. Certain dense mammographic patterns make it challenging for ultrasensitive mammography equipment to detect breast cancer. Because a breast cancer mass is usually white, it is often difficult to see it on a mammogram. Mammography can miss seeing as much as 40-50% of breast cancers on certain breast pattern types, meaning a negative mammogram with a dense mammographic pattern is not a sufficient breast cancer screening tool on its own. KCBC has always taken a proactive role in informing women who have a dense mammographic pattern that additional imaging, such as a breast ultrasound, would be beneficial for breast cancer screening. Some women are aware they have a dense mammographic pattern. They may already be KCBC patients who have had a mammogram and breast ultrasound as part of their annual wellness visit. These women know the limitations of a dense mammogram in detecting breast cancer or have been informed by another facility they have a dense mammogram.
What Happens During a Breast Cancer Ultrasound?
You will be asked to lie flat on your back with your arms raised over your head on an examination table. We will apply a warm, water-based gel to your breasts to help guide the high-frequency sound waves that produce the breast tissue images. A small probe called a transducer is ran back and forth over your breasts. We may use Doppler technology to check your breasts’ blood flow to see if a mass is disrupting it. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort during this procedure. Once complete, the gel is wiped off, and you’ll be able to get dressed while our team analyzes the images. If any abnormalities are detected in your ultrasound, we will discuss it and next steps with you.
Passing Breast Cancer Screening Legislation to Save Lives
Dr. Kamila Kozlowski knew since the advent of modern-day mammography in 1980 about the limitations of a dense mammographic pattern and its lower sensitivity at breast cancer detection. The Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center has been doing screening breast ultrasounds since its establishment in 1983, well before it was recognized for its invaluable contribution to evaluating a dense mammographic or questioned mass on mammography. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the rules, regulations, and yearly inspections of mammographic facilities to ensure all breast cancer screening guidelines are being followed for patient safety. Following a mammogram, a woman must receive a letter in the mail reporting one of two findings: the mammogram is negative, or additional imaging is recommended if there is a questionable finding.
Thanks to the advocacy of Nancy Cappello, Ph.D., Connecticut was the first state in 2009 to pass a law that women who have a dense mammographic pattern on screening mammography must be informed by their primary care doctor of this fact and that additional imaging might be advantageous to them. After three years of beginning the process in the Tennessee legislature by Dr. Kozlowski, the Tennessee Breast Density Law was signed by Governor Haslam in June 2013 and enacted on January 1, 2014.
Contact Us to Schedule a Breast Cancer Ultrasound Today
Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center’s mission is to save as many lives as possible from breast cancer and breast disease. Bilateral breast ultrasounds are but one of the many services we offer to help us accomplish our goal of providing compassionate, comprehensive health care to women in Knoxville, TN, and surrounding areas. Whether you’ve noticed fibrocystic breast changes or everything appears to be normal, please contact us to schedule a breast cancer ultrasound. We look forward to caring for you!