Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the inside of the breast. Breast MRI is often used in women who already have been diagnosed with breast cancer, to help measure the size of the cancer, look for other tumors in the breast, and to check for tumors in the opposite breast.
What does breast MRI look like?
A: Breast MRI is very sensitive for most cancers, with some exceptions, such as low-grade DCIS. Some benign conditions such as fibrocystic disease can look like cancer. Hormones can also affect the results of the test. This is why we ask questions about menstrual cycle and hormone therapies prior to your study.
What to expect during a breast MRI?
What you can expect. The MRI machine has a large, central opening. During the breast MRI, you lie facedown on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table, which contains coils that detect magnetic signals from the MRI machine. The entire table then slides into the opening of the machine.
What equipment is needed for a breast MRI?
Just as mammograms are done using x-ray machines specially designed for the breasts, breast MRI also requires special equipment. This MRI machine is called an MRI with dedicated breast coils. Not all hospitals and imaging centers have dedicated breast MRI equipment.
Can you have a MRI for a breast biopsy?
Not all hospitals and imaging centers have this; instead, many have MRIs used for scanning the head, chest, or abdomen. The ability to perform MRI-guided breast biopsy. If the breast MRI reveals an abnormality, you’ll want to have an MRI-guided breast biopsy (a procedure to remove any suspicious tissue for examination)…
What does breast cancer look like on MRI?
Cancers need to increase their blood supply in order to grow. On a breast MRI, the contrast tends to become more concentrated in areas of cancer growth, showing up as white areas on an otherwise dark background. This helps the radiologist determine which areas could possibly be cancerous.
How does a breast MRI work?
In order to check breast positioning, the technologist watches the MRI through a window while monitoring for any potential movement. A breast MRI usually requires the use of contrast that is injected into a vein in the arm before or during the procedure. The dye may help create clearer images that outline abnormalities more easily.
Should I get a MRI for breast cancer?
But not every woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer needs a breast MRI. To screen for breast cancer: For certain women at high risk for breast cancer, a screening MRI is recommended along with a yearly mammogram. MRI is not recommended as a screening test by itself because it can miss some cancers that a mammogram would find.
Why do you need a breast MRI?
An MRI for a breast cancer evaluation is currently the most common reason to have a breast MRI. But there are also other reasons to have a breast MRI. Your doctor may recommend a breast MRI for the following: Determining the extent of cancer after a new breast cancer diagnosis.