Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to detect breast cancer and examine other breast abnormalities. Breast MRI, with contrast injection, is excellent at detecting breast cancer and can find cancers in some women that may not be detected by other methods. MRI does not replace mammography, but may be used if additional information is considered necessary by your doctor.
What is a breast MRI?
MRI is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets and radio frequencies, instead of x-rays to produce detailed images of the breast. MRI may be done with or without and IV injection of contrast (dye) depending upon the indication for the test. MRI does not replace mammography, but may be used if additional information is considered necessary by your doctor.
What is the difference between a breast MRI and a mammography?
A breast MRI involves no radiation (x-rays). A mammography uses x-rays to examine the inside tissue of the breast
Who qualifies for a breast MRI?
Breast MRI is indicated as a supplement to mammography screening in women at high risk for breast cancer. If you think you may be at high risk for breast cancer, speak to your provider or our nurse practitioner, as they can determine if an MRI may be indicated. Breast MRI is sometimes also used in women with recently diagnosed breast cancer as an aid to the surgeon in planning treatment
What can a breast MRI show me?
Breast MRI with contrast injection is excellent at detecting breast cancer and can find cancers in some women that may not be detected by other methods. Breast MRI without contrast is used for evaluating silicone implants to see if they are intact or ruptured
Are there disadvantages to a breast MRI?
Although breast MRI has a very high percentage rate of detecting breast cancer, it may also detect other breast processes that are not cancerous. This may require a follow-up exam or biopsy for further evaluation. Breast MRI also cannot detect some early types of cancer, which is why it cannot replace a mammogram. There are some patients who cannot have an MRI due to implanted devices such as a pacemaker.