The Benefits of a Breast MRI – Are they Safe?

When it comes to diagnosing breast cancer, a breast MRI is relatively new, but is becoming one of the most dependable tests for detecting abnormalities in the breast. It uses a powerful magnet to produce hundreds of images, using gadolinium, a non-radioactive contrast. Although, the contrast isn’t always used, especially for those who have a sensitivity to iodine.

Your doctor might ask for a breast MRI in addition to other tests, such as an ultrasound. But, the MRI has some advantages over other tests.

What Are the Benefits of a Breast MRI?

With any test, the benefits need to outweigh the safety risk. So, it’s best you know ahead of time how a breast MRI can benefit you, as well as if there is any risk. First, let’s look at the benefits, which are numerous.

The benefits of a breast MRI include the following:

  • There is no radiation involved with a breast MRI, making it a more reasonable test for those who are at a higher risk of breast cancer. When the breast is exposed to radiation several times over the years, it will increase the odds of developing the cancer the test is screening for in the first place.
  • A breast MRI is more sensitive than other tests when it comes to detecting some earlier stages of breast cancer. Although, it can also result in false positive testing.
  • The MRI will be able to show abnormalities in breast with dense tissue, commonly found in younger females, or post-menapausal. This makes it more effective than a mammogram.
  • Since breast implants will likely obscure viewing during a mammography, the breast MRI is more effective because of its ability to view the surrounding tissue in cross-section.
  • If a breast implant has ruptured, the breast MRI will be able to detect it, far better than a mammography or ultrasound.
  • A breast MRI study has the ability to exclude many forms of breast cancer, whereas mammography and ultrasound does not.
  • It has more accuracy in establishing the size of the cancer, and also determining if there are more tumors within the breast. With this information, the doctor can better advise on which type of surgery is necessary, which helps reduce the chance of unnecessary removal of the breast, or missing some cancerous tissue.
  • The breast MRI can be an effective way to determine if your course of treatment is working. If the doctor knows early that the treatment is not effective, they can start you on something different sooner.
  • Post treatment and surgery, the breast can develop scar tissue, and a breast MRI can pick up new tumors or abnormalities through the scar tissue, better than other testing.

A breast MRI has many benefits, even though it’s not in place of other tests. You might still need other forms of testing. But, how safe is this test?

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