17 doctors weighed in:

I have heard that MRI is now used for detecting breast cancer. When is it appropriate for women to have a breast MRI instead of or in addition to a mammogram?

17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
Surgery
9 doctors agree

In brief: High-risk,etc.

Mris are more sensitive than mammograms for detecting breast cancer, especially in young women or those with very dense breast tissue; however, they are 20x the cost.
Therefore, we reserve mris for women with >20% lifetime risk for breast cancer. They are also very useful for determining if an implant has ruptured, and determining the extent of breast cancer if someone may need mastectomy.

In brief: High-risk,etc.

Mris are more sensitive than mammograms for detecting breast cancer, especially in young women or those with very dense breast tissue; however, they are 20x the cost.
Therefore, we reserve mris for women with >20% lifetime risk for breast cancer. They are also very useful for determining if an implant has ruptured, and determining the extent of breast cancer if someone may need mastectomy.
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen
Thank
Dr. Carl Decker
Radiology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Start with mammogram

Current guidelines recommend the following patients get screening MRI in addition to screening mammogram.
1. Brca mutation 2. First-degree relative of a brca carrier 3. Lifetime risk of breast cancer is 20-25% or greater 4. Radiation to chest between age 10-30 5. Li-fraumeni syndrome, or a first-deg relative 6. Cowden syndrome, or a first-deg relative 7. Bannayan-riley-ruvalcaba syndrome.

In brief: Start with mammogram

Current guidelines recommend the following patients get screening MRI in addition to screening mammogram.
1. Brca mutation 2. First-degree relative of a brca carrier 3. Lifetime risk of breast cancer is 20-25% or greater 4. Radiation to chest between age 10-30 5. Li-fraumeni syndrome, or a first-deg relative 6. Cowden syndrome, or a first-deg relative 7. Bannayan-riley-ruvalcaba syndrome.
Dr. Carl Decker
Dr. Carl Decker
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Dr. Sean Canale
Breast Surgery
5 doctors agree

In brief: High risk

Several years ago the american cancer society published a list of guidelines as to what patient's qualify as high risk sufficient to consider for screening breast mri's.
These include patient's with known brca mutations, patient's with prior mantle radiation for lymphoma, patients with a calculated lifetime risk >20%, etc mmgs should continue. For example, microcalcifications show on mmg not mr.

In brief: High risk

Several years ago the american cancer society published a list of guidelines as to what patient's qualify as high risk sufficient to consider for screening breast mri's.
These include patient's with known brca mutations, patient's with prior mantle radiation for lymphoma, patients with a calculated lifetime risk >20%, etc mmgs should continue. For example, microcalcifications show on mmg not mr.
Dr. Sean Canale
Dr. Sean Canale
Thank
Dr. Raj Syal
Obstetrics & Gynecology
2 doctors agree

In brief: In addition to

Mri is used in addition to mammography.
Just like ultrasound can help to enhance interpretation of a mammogram, MRI can clarify questionable areas.

In brief: In addition to

Mri is used in addition to mammography.
Just like ultrasound can help to enhance interpretation of a mammogram, MRI can clarify questionable areas.
Dr. Raj Syal
Dr. Raj Syal
Thank
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology

In brief: MRI's are also

Associated with "false positives" in the range of 30%, leading to more tests (increased cost), and in some cases ill-advised excess mastectomy.
Currently they are being over-used in my community.

In brief: MRI's are also

Associated with "false positives" in the range of 30%, leading to more tests (increased cost), and in some cases ill-advised excess mastectomy.
Currently they are being over-used in my community.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Thank
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