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MRI Breast

What is MRI of the Breast?
MRI is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal Body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).

Why should I do it?
MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool that has many important uses, including:

  • Screening in women at high risk for breast cancer
  • Determining the extent of cancer after a new diagnosis of breast cancer
  • After being diagnosed with breast cancer, a breast MRI may be performed to determine: how large the cancer is and whether it involves the underlying muscle.
  • If there are other cancers in the same breast and whether there is an unsuspected cancer in the opposite breast.
  • If there are any abnormally large lymph nodes in the armpit, which can be a sign the cancer has spread to that site.
  • Further evaluating hard-to-assess abnormalities seen on mammography
  • In rare cases where mammography and ultrasound cannot adequately detect breast abnormalities, MRI can be used to definitively determine if it needs biopsy or Can safely be left alone.
  • Evaluating lumpectomy sites in the years following breast cancer treatment
  • MRI can differentiate between scarring and recurrent cancer.
  • Following chemotherapy treatment in patients getting neo-adjuvant Chemotherapy
  • MRI is often used to monitor how well the preoperative chemotherapy is working and the amount of tumor still present before surgery.
  • Evaluating breast implants
  • MRI is the best test for determining whether silicone implants have ruptured.

Any preparations needed?
Blease check general preparation guidelines in MRI chapter