breast imaging

Last reviewed 06/2022

Two commonly used methods of imaging the breast include radiography and ultrasonography:

  • mammography:
    • for screening before and after diagnosis
    • for diagnosis
    • for localisation prior to guided biopsy
    • for imaging the ducts - ductography
    • X ray of lumpectomy tissue to prove that the lesion has been excised
  • ultrasound:
    • for diagnosis and characterisation of suspected lesions
    • for localisation and guided biopsy of lesions

More rarely, the use of magnetic resonance imaging may be indicated. This need arises due to follow up after breast surgery when mammograms may be difficult to interpret. MRI may enable the distinction of tumour recurrence from the usual post-operative scarring. Other techniques include thermography and xerography.