Can Ultrasound Help Diagnose Cancer?

Often used as the first step in the standard cancer diagnosis process, ultrasound offers many benefits: it can be performed relatively quickly and cost-effectively without exposing the patient to radiation. As a non-invasive technique, it has been used as a screening or preliminary procedure after a mass is detected or suspected.  

However, whether due to size or location within the body, not all cancers can be seen by ultrasound. Furthermore, an ultrasound cannot produce images with the same level of detail or clarity as a CT or MRI scan, nor can it confirm a cancer diagnosis on its own as only a biopsy is the most definitive way to test for a malignant tumor and determine the type of cancer. Nevertheless, ultrasound can assist with a cancer diagnosis in several ways. 

As imaging tests, ultrasounds create images of internal organs by using high-frequency sound waves. The sound waves hit the organs and reverberate back to the transducer, which then processes the reflected waves, converts them into pictures of the targeted organs or tissues, and projects them on the computer screen.  

The sound waves echo uniquely when bouncing off healthy tissue versus abnormal, helping doctors detect a possible tumor. However, ultrasound can not only detect but also differentiate the internal characteristics of a mass. Depending on the tissue’s density being evaluated, the shape and intensity of ultrasound echoes can vary. Because of the different echo patterns, doctors can distinguish between solid tumors and fluid-filled cysts. A cystic mass is more likely to be benign, unlike those with solid components that are more likely to be malignant. 

Moreover, ultrasounds can be helpful in the following of patients once cancer has been detected. This includes the evaluation of masses over time to determine their response or lack of to various treatments. For patients with known cancer, long-term evaluation is also possible to detect recurrence evidence, proving the ultrasound a valuable tool for monitoring. 

Since ultrasounds identify abnormal tissue location, they may also be used to pinpoint the location of a tumor to guide a biopsy or aspiration procedure. For instance, an ultrasound may be used to mark the boundaries of a tumor before its removal. Furthermore, ultrasounds may help doctors view tumors in specific areas of the body that do not show up well on x-rays.  

Why Partner with Advanced Ultrasound Systems? 

With the critical role that ultrasound systems play in detecting abnormal tissues and guiding cancer treatment procedures, it is important to ensure that your ultrasound technology is functional at all times. At Advanced Ultrasound Systems, we are equipped to meet your organization’s needs by utilizing our broad knowledge of ultrasound technology. We cover all aspects of ultrasound and can service almost any make or model system. We do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy and up and running with minimal downtime. 

If you need new ultrasound systems or repairs on your existing equipment, the Advanced Ultrasound Systems team is here to help. We have invested heavily in our facility and have one of the most extensive new and refurbished parts, probes, and systems inventory in the business. Message us directly or call at (866) 620-2831