breast-cancer-mri-generalA question a woman may first ask when her physician recommends a breast MRI is “why?” It’s a perfectly natural, and encouraged question to ask as it is her body and her health.

The exact role of breast MRI in evaluation of possible breast cancer remains controversial and a subject of active research and refinement. In certain patients and in certain situations, breast MRI is valuable in augmenting other tests such as digital mammography, ultrasound and physical examination.

Breast MRI for cancer detection can be performed of one or both breasts. These studies always require the use of contrast, which is a dye that is administered through an intravenous injection. The cancers are well visualized because they “take up” the dye, therefore the cancer cells become more enhanced and visible for the radiologist to review.

The most common reasons physicians order a breast MRI include:

  • Screening for cancer in high risk patients who have a —
    • genetic predisposition
    • strong family history
    • history of breast carcinoma
    • history of Atypia demonstrated on biopsy
  • Resolve an indeterminate (unclear) mammogram finding
  • Define the extent of the carcinoma prior to therapy
  • Evaluate breast implant integrity

Breast MRI Accredited Facility LogoBreast implants occasionally rupture or leak. Often leakage or rupture can be determined with mammogram, physical examination and/or ultrasound. When necessary, MRI can provide a more detailed assessment.

Diagnostic Imaging Services performs breast MRI at our Metairie – Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Covington – Pinnacle Parkway locations. Both utilized Computer Aided Detection (CAD) to further assist the radiologist in providing a detailed report to the physician.

For women who have their mammograms and breast ultrasounds completed at DIS, it’s great to have their breast MRI studies also completed here. There is no need to go elsewhere or to the hospital, where for those with insurance deductibles, this same test results in much higher fees that are not covered by the insurance plan. Same test. Same, if not better, quality. Lower cost — and the critical results are provided to the doctor.

Click here to view a five minute presentation provided courtesy of the American College of Radiology.