3T Breast MRI

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.  This fact has led patients and physicians to become more aware of breast cancer screening and treatment.  Although breast cancer cannot be prevented, it can be caught at an early stage with regular screening and clinical breast examinations.  When diagnosed at an early stage, many breast cancers can be sucessfully treated.  Mammography is the standard breast cancer screening and evaluation tool currently used.  In addition to mammography, sonography (ultrasound) and MRI are also used to diagnose breast cancer. 

Breast MRI Cancer Can't Hide Anymore

Recent studies have shown 3T MRI to have a 100% sensitivity for detecting breast cancer, which is “more sensitive than mammography and sonography in the detection of breast cancer and the characterization of small lesions.” 1

Breast MRI is a useful tool for a number of patients.  The first patient is one that has a known breast cancer (via mammography, etc.).  Breast MRI is used pre-operatively to determine the extent of the disease and check for more extensive disease.  Surgeons can use the data gathered from the MRI study to determine resection margins.

The second patient Breast MRI is useful for is one that has a high risk for developing breast cancer.  There are certain guidelines for using Breast MRI as a screening tool.  Women who would qualify for a Breast MRI screening:

  • Approximately 20-25% or greater lifetime risk (Click here for a risk assesment tool)
  • BRCA1, BRCA2, PTEN, or TP53 mutation
  • First-degree relative with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, even if they have yet to be tested themselves
  • Radiation treatments to the chest between the ages of 10-30
  • Patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or may have one of these syndromes based on a history in a first-degree relative

The third patient Breast MRI is useful for is one that has silicone breast implants.  The FDA has recommended biannual screening of implants after year three.  The screening is to check the integrity of the implant.

Talk with your physician or call Big Sky Diagnostic Imaging for more information about Breast MRI and if you qualify.

1 (Elsamaloty H, Elzawawi MS, Mohammad S, et al. Increasing accuracy of detection of breast cancer with 3-T MRI. AJR 2009; 192:1142-1148).