Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (AWBUS)
More than 40 percent of all women have dense breast tissue. For women with dense breasts, automated whole-breast ultrasound (AWBUS) is a supplementary ultrasound examination of both breasts that can find small cancers that mammography may miss. Studies show that ultrasound and mammography performed together can find more cancers in women with dense breasts than mammography alone. It’s important to note that AWBUS is not a substitute for mammography, which remains the foundation of breast cancer screening.
This procedure is now available in the PAMF Santa Cruz Radiology Department to help provide early detection of cancers in women with dense breast tissue
About the Procedure
The AWBUS exam is painless, requires little patient preparation and takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
The AWBUS system allows the technologist to scan both breasts and adjacent structures. The technician helps direct the AWBUS probe, but probe movement is automated to ensure no areas are missed. The probe moves in parallel rows until all areas of the breast are covered. Patients are prepared for the AWBUS exam by placing an acoustically transparent camisole, nipple pad and acoustic jelly over the breasts to allow for smooth movement of the probe.
The automated exam collects 3,000 to 5,000 images that the radiologist is able to view in a motion-picture format. The radiologist can then speed up, slow down, go forward or backward to review areas of interest. Studies are interpreted by our radiologists, who have had special training in this procedure.
If you have dense breast tissue, ask your doctor if the AWBUS examination is appropriate for you.
AWBUS examinations are performed in our Radiology Department on the first floor of the main clinic at 2025 Soquel Avenue. To schedule an appointment, call (831) 458-5521.
Santa Cruz Center
2025 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062