How 3D Breast MRI and CAD Could Benefit a Patient

oaklandmri-woman-breast-mriCAD can help radiologists detect cancer, as well as the size and location of the cancer, more accurately and quickly than before. And, this could alter a treatment plan for a cancer patient.

For example, before 3D breast MRI with CAD, a patient might have been scheduled for a lumpectomy, but there could be additional undetected cancer. Now that they can better see the entire breast, many of the patients who would have gone through just a lumpectomy, and possibly leaving unseen cancer behind to foster, will now opt for a mastectomy. By opting for a more aggressive treatment or surgery, the possibility increases that all the cancer can be removed. That could also affect the post-surgery treatment, such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Another reason is that a 3D breast MRI with CAD has shown to be more accurate in imaging, and reducing the number of false-positive results. Therefore, a patient would not have to go through another unnecessary test involving radiation.

To schedule Breast MRI exam please call us at (248) 740-0777.

3D Breast MRI with CAD

3d-breast-mriModern technology has been changing lives for a very long time, as technology evolves the way patients are treated and diagnosed. It’s hard to keep up with the latest diagnostic tests and machines, but it’s a good problem to have in medicine.

When it comes to detecting breast cancer, patients might have been hearing about 3D Breast MRI with CAD, if they are scheduling a mammogram. The 3D Breast MRI is where they are able to take multiple images of the breast in one test. Several “slices” of images of the tissue can be reconstructed to give the physician a clear view of the entire breast. Add in CAD (computer-aided detection), radiologists can now find very small breast cancers. This provides more opportunity for early detection. And, that’s important. Breast cancer is second only to non-melanoma skin cancer, in cancers found in women. In fact, at least 1 out of 4 of cancers in women is breast cancer.

The CAD software utilizes sophisticated and complex systems, centered on several thousand cases of breast cancer. This will help identify areas that are suspect during a mammogram, which would warrant a closer examination and further evaluation.

To schedule Breast MRI exam please call us at (248) 740-0777.

Is a Breast MRI Safe?

Yes, it is, for most patients. There is no risk for the majority of patients needing breast cancer screening, especially when all policies and guidelines are followed appropriately. But, people who have heart surgery can safely go through a breast MRI, as well as those with some medical devices, such as the following:

  • Surgical sutures and clips
  • Staples
  • Many replacement heart valves
  • Artificial joints
  • Vena cava filters
  • Medication pumps that have been disconnected
  • Brain shunt tubes, for hydrocephalus

However, there are a few conditions and devices that might not be advisable, or could need your physician to sign off before getting a breast MRI. They include: [Read more…]

Breast MRI’s and Breast Cancer

Breast MRI’s are continuously studied, so the scan is still evolving. The test can be highly advantageous for high-risk situations for patients, such as dense tissue in the breasts. However, it is not guaranteed that all cancers will be detected.

A breast MRI should not be performed to determine if the tissue is non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). When an abnormality is found, a breast biopsy should be done to test the suspicious tissue.

Keep in mind, there can be false positive test results. And, a breast MRI cannot effectively detect small flecks of microcalcifications (calcium). These microcalcifcations account for nearly half of all cancers that mammography will detect.

To schedule Breast MRI exam please call us at (248) 740-0777.

What Does It Feel Like to Have a Breast MRI?

During the breast MRI, you will be lying face down, on a table, which will slide into the large metal cylinder. There are large holes in this table that your breasts will hang through, exposing them to the magnetic imaging of the MRI.

After the machine starts and the test is underway, there will be sounds such as clicking, buzzing, and thumping, and it will be a tight space. Not a comfortable feeling for those who are claustrophobic, and could result in some anxiety.

Headphones or earplugs are typically offered to a patient to help drown out the sounds. And, if you tend to have claustrophobic tendencies, let them know when you schedule the test, because a sedative given before the test starts, can help with the anxiety.

To schedule Breast MRI exam please call us at (248) 740-0777.

How Do You Prepare for a Breast MRI?

When making the appointment, the office will most likely ask you the dates of your last menstrual cycle, from the first day of bleeding to the last. They ask this because they want to schedule the test 6-16 days after you started your last cycle. This is the best time to schedule a breast MRI, because abnormalities are better detected when hormones are not interfering with the breast tissue.

If you are currently taking a hormone replacement therapy, you must stop the treatment about 4-6 weeks prior to the test.

Breastfeeding does not preclude you from having a breast MRI, because the baby will absorb less than 1% of the contrast. This is no more than what the baby would receive if they were having the test done themselves. Of course, it’s a personal decision, but you are not required to stop breastfeeding prior to the test.

One other thing you can do prior to the scan, is to gather and bring with you any previous reports or tests on the breast, including mammograms, biopsies, and ultrasounds. The doctor who will be reading your MRI will be able to use them to interpret and evaluate the current condition of the breast tissue.

You do not have to fast before the test, nor stop any other medications, other than HRT. Other than that, and bringing previous reports, there are no special preparation steps to abide by before having a breast MRI.

What You Should Know about Breast MRI’s

When it comes to breast cancer, mammography is a proven source for early detection for most patients. Although, if the breast tissue is dense, it makes detection more difficult. Fortunately, a breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is far more effective in these cases.

Relatively new, a breast MRI is an exceptionally specialized test that utilizes a powerful magnet to capture hundreds of images within the breast. Typically, a non-radioactive contrast dye called gadolinium is injected intravenously prior to the start of the procedure, to help create sharper images. This helps in outlining any abnormality that might be present, because the dye tends to gravitate to abnormal tissue. However, a dye isn’t always used, especially if the patient has a sensitivity to iodine.

The patient is then required to remain still, while they are on a sliding table, which goes through a large enclosed tube, shaped like a cylinder. A patient should prepare for this test to run for about 45 minutes, once they are appropriately prepped.

MRIs Can Be Safe for People With Heart Devices

MRI TestPeople with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators have long been told they can’t undergo MRI scans. But a new study suggests that it can be safely done — under the right conditions.

The study, published in the Feb. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, focused on patients with standard heart devices not designed to be MRI-compatible.

The study found that even for them, an MRI can be safely performed, when a specific protocol is followed. [Read more…]

A new contrast agent for MRI

A new, specially coated iron oxide nanoparticle developed by a team at MIT and elsewhere could provide an alternative to conventional gadolinium-based contrast agents used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures. In rare cases, the currently used gadolinium agents have been found to produce adverse effects in patients with impaired kidney function.

The advent of MRI technology, which is used to observe details of specific organs or blood vessels, has been an enormous boon to medical diagnostics over the last few decades. About a third of the 60 million MRI procedures done annually worldwide use contrast-enhancing agents, mostly containing the element gadolinium. While these contrast agents have mostly proven safe over many years of use, some rare but significant side effects have shown up in a very small subset of patients. There may soon be a safer substitute thanks to this new research. [Read more…]

MRI Helps Assess Fetal Brain Abnormalities

A follow-up MRI scan after a mid-pregnancy ultrasound could help improve diagnosis of a possible fetal brain abnormality, a new British study reports.

Women selected for this study had undergone an ultrasound at 18 to 21 weeks of pregnancy that detected a potential brain abnormality in the fetus.

The extra information provided by the follow-up MRI helped doctors give a more accurate diagnosis and advice, according to the study authors.

The study was published Dec. 14 in The Lancet. [Read more…]