Our ACR-accredited Breast Center of Excellence in Palmer has all the tools and expertise to offer state-of-the-art breast care, including breast MRI, with biopsy capability. Our sensitive and highly trained technicians, along with our breast fellowship trained radiologists, are here to ensure you receive the best medical care available.
What you should know
What is breast MRI?
MRI utilizes a powerful magnetic field to produce images of the body. Breast MRI is specifically for evaluating a woman’s breast tissue. To perform this exam, a woman lies on her stomach, with each breast accommodated in an opening in the table. The breasts are compressed just enough to prevent movement. Most breast exams require the injection of intravenous contrast. Several different scans will be performed during your procedure. It is very important to remain still during the study; if there is movement, then that scan may need to be repeated, which will lengthen the exam. If too much motion is present, the radiologist may be unable to interpret the exam.
Who should get a breast MRI?
There are several populations of women who benefit from breast MRI. Breast MRI is an adjunct to mammography and ultrasound, and in no way is intended to replace either modality.
High risk screening (SCREENING MRI)
This is reserved for women with an elevated (20 percent or more over the population) risk of breast cancer. This elevated risk may be due to family history, genetic mutations (i.e. BRCA1 or BRCA2), or other syndromes that increase the likelihood of breast cancer, and those with a history of mantle radiation as a child. Your individual risk can be determined by a risk assessment tool. Please visit www.cancer.org for more information.
Recently diagnosed cancer (DIAGNOSTIC MRI)
Breast MRI can be useful in planning treatment following a new diagnosis of cancer. It can determine the extent of disease, detect additional sites of disease in the affected breast, and can detect unsuspected disease in the opposite breast. Breast MRI may be used to follow a known cancer prior to surgery in a patient receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Breast MRI may be useful in assessing residual disease following a lumpectomy.
Problem solving (DIAGNOSTIC MRI)
The least commonly used indication for breast MRI may be for the rare occasion your radiologist is unable to answer a clinical or imaging question with mammography or ultrasound.
Evaluating breast implants (IMPLANT STUDY)
This is the only breast MRI performed without intravenous contrast. Implant studies are utilized to evaluate suspected silicone implant rupture. Because this study is performed without contrast, it does not evaluate for cancer.