breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, breast cancer screening, MRI

Breast cancer MRI

What is a breast MRI?

In breast tissue MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), ultra-strong radio waves and magnets are used to create detailed images.
Breast MRI is used as an adjunct in breast screening with mammography or ultrasound. Breast MRI is used to screen women at high risk for breast cancer to assess the extent of the cancer incidence or to assess abnormalities identified on mammography.
In general, breast MRI imaging is often used in women with breast cancer to determine the size of cancerous tumors. In addition, MRI of the breast helps to detect the presence of other tumors in the same breast and the opposite breast.

In what cases is breast MRI used?

1. Screening women at high risk for breast cancer

Women at high risk for breast cancer often have a family history of breast cancer. MRI may be a good expression for breast cancer screening. A strong family history of cancer is usually defined as a mother or sister with breast cancer under the age of 50. This can also be the case with aunts, uncles or their daughters. Relatives with ovarian cancer also increase your risk of developing cancer. Your radiologist or your primary care physician, based on your family history, can advise you on whether or not you need a breast MRI.

2. Assessing abnormalities that are difficult to assess on a mammogram

Sometimes abnormalities are seen on the mammogram that cannot be detected by mammography and ultrasound alone. In these exceptional cases, MRI can be used to differentiate with or without a biopsy.

3. Evaluation of lumpectomy areas (areas around tissues removed from cancerous tumors)

In postoperative follow-up on mammography and sonography, the location of the surgical scar (incision) and recurrence of the cancer can be identified. If mammography or medical examinations show changes in the lumpectomy scar, MRI can help determine the natural mutation of these changes in the scar or cancer recurrence.

4. Pursue the success of chemotherapy adjuvant therapy

In some patients, breast cancer is treated first with chemotherapy and then with surgery. This treatment is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In these patients, MRI is often used to track the success of chemotherapy and assess tumor size before surgery.

Can breast MRI alone diagnose breast cancer?

For definitive diagnosis of cancer in women who are at high risk for breast cancer, one-year MRI screening with mammography is recommended. MRI alone is not recommended for screening because it may miss a number of cancerous tumors that can be detected on a mammogram. Although MRI can detect a number of tumors that are not detectable on a mammogram; But many of the results are false positives. False positives must be checked by a doctor. As a result, more tests and biopsies are needed. This is why breast MRI is not recommended for women at moderate risk for breast cancer because it can lead to unnecessary biopsies and other expensive tests.