What is a Breast MRI?
Breast MRI usually is performed when your doctor needs more information than a mammogram, ultrasound or a clinical breast exam can provide. In certain situations, such as when a woman has a very high risk of breast cancer, breast MRI may be used as a screening tool for detecting breast cancer. MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. Medical studies are currently being conducted to determine whether a MRI and other imaging methods can contribute to the early detection of breast cancer.
A Breast MRI captures multiple pictures of your breast. Breast MRI images are combined, using a computer, to generate detailed pictures. Breast MRI may show abnormalities in the breast that do not appear on a routine mammogram or ultrasound. Breast MRI is primarily for women with a new diagnosis of breast cancer. It has also shown to be very helpful for women with breast implants to check for masses around the implant as well as leaking implants.
MR Imaging Of The Breast Is Performed To:
• Assess multiple tumor locations, especially prior to breast surgery
• Identify early breast cancer not detected through other means, especially in women with dense breast tissue and those at high risk for the disease
• Evaluate abnormalities detected by mammography or ultrasound
• Distinguish between scar tissue and recurrent tumors
• Determine whether cancer detected by mammography, ultrasound, or after surgical biopsy has spread further in the breast or into the chest wall
• Assess the effect of chemotherapy
• Provide additional information on a diseased breast to make treatment decisions
• Determine the integrity of breast implants
Breast MRI exams are usually 60 minutes long.
After your exam, the radiologist will review your images and a report will be sent directly to your physician. Reports are available within 24 to 72 hours.