Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the breast captures multiple images of your breast. These images are combined, using a computer, to generate detailed pictures. Breast MRI’s are often used to screen for breast cancer in women thought to have
a high risk of the disease. A breast MRI may also be used to assess the extent of breast cancer.
MRI’s may be recommended if:
- You have been diagnosed with breast cancer and your doctor wants to determine the extent of the cancer
- You have a suspected leak or rupture of a breast implant
- You are at high risk of breast cancer, defined as a lifetime risk of 20% or greater, as calculated by risk tools that take your family history and other factors into consideration
- You have a strong family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
- You have very dense breast tissue
- You have a hereditary breast cancer gene mutation (BRCA1 or BRCA2)
- You have had radiation treatments to your chest area before age 30
If you are unsure whether you are considered high risk, ask your doctor to help you determine your personal risk estimate. A referral to a breast clinic or breast health specialist may help you better understand your risk and your screening options.
A breast MRI is intended to be used in addition to a mammogram or another breast-imaging test, not as a replacement for a mammogram. Although it is a sensitive test; a breast MRI can still miss some breast cancers that a mammogram will detect.