Breast Ultrasound in Singapore
A breast ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves are then converted to images.
Breast ultrasound is helpful in determining if a lump is solid or a fluid-filled. It can give an indication if a lump is cancerous.
When will your doctor recommend an ultrasound examination?
- Your breast doctor might suggest having an ultrasound examination when they feel a lump, observe nipple discharge, inflammation, breast pain or skin discoloration, among other symptoms.
- It is commonly requested for along with a mammogram if you are 40 years old and above
- Below 40 years of age you will likely get an ultrasound without a mammogram unless there is a suspicion of cancer.
- Ultrasound is safe in pregnancy and is used commonly in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who encounter lumps and breast infections.
I am 40 years of age; can I have an ultrasound without a mammogram?
For breast cancer screening the mammogram is an essential examination and while the ultrasound is good for picking up lumps, it may not be able to pick up other cancer related changes that are seen on mammograms such as suspicious microcalcifications and breast tissue distortion.
How do I prepare for a Breast Ultrasound in Singapore?
Avoid putting products on your breast before the ultrasound examination. This includes lotions and powders.
Since most women are more comfortable with a female sonographer, you may want to request for it in advance. Most centres are accommodating to such requests if a female sonographer is available.
You will have to undress from the waist above so it will be more practical to wear a top and bottom combination instead of a one-piece attire.
What happens during the Breast Ultrasound Screening?
You will be asked to remove your top and bra and lie down on a bed.
Before getting scanned, clear gel will be applied to your breast. This gel helps the sound waves to go through your skin. A device, similar to a wand, will be used to scan your breast. It is called a transducer. You will then see real-time images on a screen or monitor. When there are abnormalities, the technician will take several photos.
After this, the gel will be removed, and you will be good to go.
Ultrasound images are in black and white. If there are abnormalities such as cancer, it may have irregular margins and look tall. This does not definitely mean you have cancer. You will still need a biopsy to prove that it is cancer as many lumps will turn out to be benign.