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.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer using MRI

breast-cancerFor certain women at high risk for breast cancer, screening magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recommended along with a yearly mammogram. MRI is not generally recommended as a screening tool by itself, because although it is a sensitive test, it may still miss some cancers that mammograms would detect. MRI may also be used in other situations, such as to better examine suspicious areas found by a mammogram. MRI can also be used in women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer to better determine the actual size of the cancer and to look for any other cancers in the breast.

Magnetic resonance imaging

MRI scans use magnets and radio waves instead of x-rays to produce very detailed, cross-sectional images of the body. The most useful MRI exams for breast imaging use a contrast material (called gadolinium) that is injected into a catheter in a vein (IV) in the arm before or during the exam. This improves the ability of the MRI to clearly show breast tissue details.

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MRI plus Mammogram found the best for high risk women

oaklandmri-woman-breast-mriFor the best chance at spotting breast cancer early, women at high risk need frequent MRI screenings along with mammograms, a large Canadian study contends.

Mammograms alone failed to detect the early cancers in a study of more than 2,000 high-risk women, according to the findings.

“What my study is showing is that high-risk women should be screened earlier, beginning at the age of 30,” said study researcher Anna Chiarelli, a senior scientist at Cancer Care Ontario. “They should be screened often — every year — and they should be screened with both a breast MRI and a mammogram every year.”

Chiarelli and her colleagues followed 2,207 women, aged 30 to 69, all at high risk of breast cancer, to determine the effect of the two screenings. The women were enrolled in the Ontario Breast Screening Program, which expanded in July 2011 to screen high-risk women in a special program that uses both tests — MRI and digital mammography.

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