IRMC’s new state-of-the-art BREAST MRI is a vital diagnostic tool in the fight against breast cancer.
MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool that can aid in the detection of breast cancer in high risk individuals.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that ALL high-risk women — those with a greater than 20% lifetime risk of breast cancer — have a breast MRI and a mammogram every year. For most women, these combined screenings should start at age 30 and continue as long as the woman is in good health.
According to ACS guidelines, high-risk women include those who:
- have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- have a first-degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation and have not had genetic testing themselves
- find out they have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 20-25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history
- had radiation therapy to the chest for another type of cancer, such as Hodgkin’s disease, when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years
- have a genetic disease such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have one of these syndromes in first-degree relatives
The American Cancer Society also recommends that women at moderately increased risk of breast cancer — those with a 15-20% lifetime risk — talk with their doctors about the possibility of adding breast MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.
According to ACS guidelines, this includes women who:
- find out they have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 15-20%, according to risk assessment tools based mainly on family history
- have a personal history of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), or abnormal breast cell changes such as atypical ductal hyperplasia or atypical lobular hyperplasia
- have extremely dense breasts or unevenly dense breasts when viewed by mammograms