Get started today! Find out how below.

≡ Menu

Breast Sonography

Breast sonography (breast ultrasound) is used to assess potential abnormalities in a patient’s breasts. A mammogram, a two-dimensional X-ray, is not able to provide images of the entire breast. Thus an ultrasound is performed to further evaluate abnormalities that may have been found in a mammogram or a during a clinical breast exam. In some cases, a breast ultrasound will reveal an abnormality that was not revealed at all in a mammogram. (Breast sonography is able to produce images of all layers and angles of the breast). If a biopsy needs to be performed on a patient, ultrasound equipment also plays a role in helping locate the tissue that needs to be removed.


Breast ultrasounds are performed to assess lumps and cysts to help determine if they are cancerous or benign. A physician might also order a breast ultrasound if the patient has nipple discharge, breast asymmetry or skin color changes – potential symptoms of breast cancer. A breast MRI may also be used to complement findings from a mammogram and ultrasound.

Both women and men receive breast ultrasounds. Breast enlargement (gynecomastia), asymmetry and lumps are signs that a male may have breast cancer.


The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is the leading certification agency for diagnostic medical sonographers in the United States and its credentials are recognized worldwide. To earn the RDMS (Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer) credential, sit for ARDMS’ Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam and then one of its specialty exams. The Breast (BR) examination is one of the specialty options. The vast majority of ultrasound schools offer degrees and programs that will qualify and prepare you for the ARDMS certification process.


Breast sonogram

An ultrasound image of the breast

The ultrasound machine consists of a central processing unit and keyboard, a monitor or screen and a transducer or probe. The breast sonographer will place some gel on the patient’s chest and pass the transducer over this area. The transducer sends sound waves into the breast which bounce back in the form of echoes to create images that show up on the ultrasound monitor. The sonographer will position the transducer at various angles to ensure images of every portion of the breast are captured.


According to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, 62,000 women and 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. Since the occurrence of breast cancer is less common among males, there are no fixed guidelines for breast imaging for men like there is for women. For example, in general women are recommended to start getting mammograms at the age of 40; they will receive them earlier if they have closely related relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or if abnormalities were detected during a check-up. Since breast ultrasounds will typically be performed in conjunction with mammograms, many breast sonography patients are female and 40 years of age or older. That being said, males with a strong family history of breast cancer or who have detected abnormalities and been referred by a physician, will also have breast ultrasounds done.

Recent Information & News
Getting Started in Medical Imaging Thumbnail

Getting Started in Medical Imaging

The idea of starting a new career can be intimidating. Whether you’re still in high school or want to change careers as an adult, we can help with a step-by-step guide that will take you through the process of achieving your long-term goals. Sonographers are ranked #6 among the 30 occupations projected to see the Continue Reading

Male And Female Nurse Working At Nurses Station

Five Unique Healthcare Degrees

When people discuss healthcare degrees and careers, some of the typical occupations that come up are nursing, medical assisting, medical imaging, healthcare management, physical therapy or occupational therapy assisting, and even health information technology or billing & coding. Some healthcare specialties are not as familiar. We’ve come up with a list of some lesser known Continue Reading

plate of colorful vegetables

If You Were a Vegetable, What Vegetable Would You Be?

Talking about health & nutrition … and job interviews! Something countless mothers have told their children across generations is “Eat your vegetables!” to encourage their family to lead a healthy lifestyle. According to the Dairy Council of California’s “Healthy Eating Made Easier” program, vegetables provide essential nutrients so your body can stay healthy; depending on Continue Reading