Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound Screening

for Women with Dense Breast Tissue

For women with dense breasts, Sonociné Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (AWBUS) Screening is the newest technology to screen for breast cancer. Sonociné is a supplementary ultrasound examination of both breasts that can find small cancers that mammography may miss. It is not a replacement for screening mammography. However, mammography is not a perfect examination for women with dense breasts. Adding Sonociné to your annual screening mammogram helps us reassure you that there is truly no evidence of cancer. The Breast Center is the first in the state to offer this new type of dense breast screening.

Studies show that an ultrasound examination in conjunction with a mammogram can find more cancers in women with dense breasts than mammography alone. Our goal is to find cancers when they are small.

Research Shows

  • More than 40% of all women have dense-breast tissue.
  • Early detection can increase breast cancer survival.
  • Finding cancers when they are small saves lives.

Since offering the automated whole breast ultrasound exam called SonoCiné AWBUS™, The Breast Center team was able to detect eight cancers in their first 900 AWBUS exams– more than three times the typical rate. All but one of the cancers was less than a centimeter in size, and not visible with just a mammogram. If the women who received these exams had not chosen to have the automated whole breast ultrasound exam, they might not have found the cancers until they were much larger.

fatty vs. dense tissue

fatty vs. dense tissue

  • If your mammogram shows you have dense breasts, you may want to consider an Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound examination in addition to your mammogram.

Ask your technologist if you have dense breasts or look on your mammogram report.

Fatty Breasts – Spotting tiny cancers in the mammogram of a fatty breast is easier because cancer shows up white on dark fatty-breast tissue.

Dense Breasts – Cancers are harder to find in the mammogram of a dense breast because both cancer and dense breast tissue show up white.

Ultrasound – With ultrasound, cancers appear dark against the white background of dense-breast tissue, making the cancer more visible.

How do I know if I have dense breast tissue?

The radiologist will interpreted your mammogram and indicate if your breasts are 1) fatty tissue, 2) scattered fibroglandular tissue, 3) dense tissue, or 4) extremely dense tissue. Dense breast tissue may make it more difficult for your radiologist to detect a cancer in your breast. You may wish to consider an additional screening test to improve cancer detection because of your dense breasts.

The radiologists at The Breast Center, a MANA Clinic, believe that you should be aware of your breast density. We want you to understand breast density and especially want you to know if your mammograms could be less effective because of this dense tissue.

For women with dense tissue, your radiologist suggest you consider supplemental or additional screening with automated whole breast ultrasound. We encourage you to discuss this further with your primary physician. You may also contact one of our nurses at the Breast Center (479-442-6266) to ask questions about automated whole breast ultrasound and if it is a good option for you.

What to Expect

  • Sonociné AWBUS requires no breast compression, no radiation, and no injections
  • Sonociné AWBUS is painless.
  • It takes about 20-30 minutes.
  • Sonociné AWBUS is permanently recorded for your physician’s review and follow-up.
  • The image will be interpreted by one of our breast imagers and a report is sent to your referring provider in a couple of days following your examination.

Is this screening covered by insurance?

AWBUS is cleared by the FDA as an additional examination in conjunction with screening mammography. Most insurance companies cover the cost of this examination if it is recommended.

At your next mammography appointment, ask your technologist if you have dense-breast tissue and if this examination may be right for you.


To make an appointment for an Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound Screening in Fayetteville or Bentonville, call (479) 442-6266. You do not need a physician’s referral.

More information

Screening & Diagnostic Services