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My experience as a sonographer and practitioner helps patients

I have been a sonographer for 43 years and remember when we first started performing breast ultrasound with a 5.0 MHz transducer! We have come a long way and now we can perform breast ultrasound with exceptional resolution.

This happened in California when the law was passed in 2014, stating that a woman and her provider must be informed if she has dense breast tissue, paving the way for further imaging like ultrasound and MRI.

A patient came to me after a diagnostic mammogram for a nodule on the left breast. I scanned the nodule and the finding was benign. I noticed her mammogram report stated that she had dense breast tissue grade 3. So, I went to the radiologist and asked if I could scan her right breast, since she had dense breasts.

Based on the high-resolution techniques I used and the radiologists image reading, the patient went to biopsy the irregular nodule. The pathology report came back positive for breast cancer.

My knowledge of the effects of dense breasts helped me to take the extra step to conduct another image with exceptional equipment that led to the identification of breast cancer.

My own dear sister died of breast cancer at age 40, a true hero, braving the illness with three little children left behind. Back in the 1980’s, a lump palpated was often NOT worked up with imaging and those patients had very poor outcomes, unlike today.

Today, we have excellent equipment combined with the awareness and expertise to tackle this disease.

I am proud to be an advanced practitioner in breast imaging today!

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