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Imaging in breast disease
There are two main modalities of imaging used in assessment of breast disease depending on the age of the patient:
Ultrasound is the imaging method of choice for establishing the nature of a breast mass in younger women (less than 35 years). Mammograms can be difficult to interpret in young women because of increased breast tissue density.
Mammography is more useful in older women to confirm the morphology and site of any mass. Cysts are seen as well demarcated masses with a surrounding halo. Carcinomas are often less well defined and have spiculation, distortion of the normal breast architecture or microcalcification. Mammography alone has a 10% false negative rate, hence it is used as part of the triple assessment (clinical examination, imaging, breast tissue sampling).
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