Why is breast cancer screening important?
An early diagnosis promises good healing prospects. In most cases, breast cancer can be cured and can be treated whilst conserving the breast. One crucial factor for both healing prospects and the possibility of a breast-conserving operation is the size of the tumor at the time of diagnosis: the smaller the tumor is, the better. A tumor size of less than 1 cm is optimal. However, lumps this small can hardly be felt. On average lumps felt during a breast examination already measure 1.5 to 2 cm in size. In order to detect smaller lumps other procedures are needed: breast ultrasound (mammasonography) and/or mammography. 3D breast ultrasound has some advantages over classic mammography. For example, the entire breast volume is examined in 3D without radiation exposure. Therefore the examinations can be carried out without risk both more frequently as well as on younger women. Whilst mammographies as a rule are not carried out without a concrete indication before the age of 50 and not more than once every two years due to x-rays, an examination of the breast by ultrasound can be carried out once a year on women of every age.