What is Breast MRI?
Learn more about what to expect when getting a breast MRI done at INTEGRIS Health.
Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a diagnostic tool used primarily to supplement mammography when evaluating breast problems. Unlike mammography, which uses low dose X-rays to image the breasts, MRI generates pictures using a very powerful magnet and radio waves.
Breast MRI was FDA approved in 1991 to expand the ability to diagnose breast cancer, but mammograms are still our best screening tool for early detection. At the present time, mammography is the only FDA approved method of screening for breast cancer.
How Is MRI Used? MRI is used to:
MRI is also used to screen women:
- Further investigate abnormalities found during mammography, physical exam or ultrasound
- View breast implants and the tissues around them
- Determine the stage of breast cancer after diagnosis
- Assess multiple tumor locations
- Determine if cancer has spread beyond the surgical site after a breast biopsy
- Check for tumors in the opposite (contralateral) breast of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer
- Check the progress of chemotherapy
- Distinguish between scar tissue and a recurrent tumor after breast cancer surgery
How do You Prepare for an MRI?
- Who have an increased risk for breast cancer due to a genetic reason.
- Who need further evaluation of a challenging problem.
- Who had radiation to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30.
- "When possible, try to schedule your exam during days 10 to 14 of your menstrual cycle. The technologist will be able to get the best pictures during this time.
- If you've had a recent mammogram at another facility, please bring your film to the exam. The radiologist will compare images.
- Be sure to answer honestly any questions about prior surgeries or procedures.
More information about the exam