Ultrasound uses sound waves to outline the breast. A transducer that is placed on the skin emits sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off body tissues. The echoes are converted by a computer into a black-and-white image that is displayed on a computer screen. This test is painless and does not involve radiation exposure. Usually, breast ultrasound is used to target a specific area of concern found on the mammogram or physical examination. Ultrasound helps distinguish between cysts and solid masses and sometimes can help tell the difference between benign and cancerous tumors.
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