Skip to main content

Detection of clinically and mammographically occult cancer by bilateral whole breast ultrasound: experience from a district general hospital


Although ultrasound is considered to be a poor screening tool, it is reported to be useful in detecting multifocal cancers [1]. This study aims to look at the use of bilateral whole breast ultrasound in detecting clinically and mammographically occult breast cancers.


All patients presenting to symptomatic clinic in Basildon Hospital underwent sonographer-performed bilateral whole breast ultrasound before the year 2010. All breast cancer patients in 2009 whose imaging details are available on the Radiology Management System (RMS) and PACS are the materials of this study (number of patients: 101). Clinical and imaging details were evaluated on RMS and PACS and cases in which cancer was detected only by ultrasound were identified.


Among the 101 patients, multifocal cancers were detected in ipsilateral breast in two patients. Both of these patients had one clinically and mammographically detected cancer. The second smaller lesion was depicted only on ultrasound. Apart from the above multifocal cancers, there was no case in which cancer was identified only on ultrasound.


Operator-performed bilateral whole breast ultrasound is useful in detecting multifocal primary breast cancer although its routine use in all the patients is yet to be proven.


  1. Wilkinson LS, Given-Wilson R, Hall T, Potts H, Sharma AK, Smith E: Increasing the diagnosis of multifocal primary breast cancer by the use of bilateral whole-breast ultrasound. Clin Radiol. 2005, 60: 573-578. 10.1016/j.crad.2004.10.015.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rehman, T., Upadhyay, B. & Kanagarajah, L. Detection of clinically and mammographically occult cancer by bilateral whole breast ultrasound: experience from a district general hospital. Breast Cancer Res 13 (Suppl 1), P29 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: