Breast MRI

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Breast MRI for the Early Detection & Prevention of Breast Cancer

Breast MRI offers the highest degree of reliability when it comes to detecting breast cancer. In contrast to conventional mammography, breast MRI involves no exposure to x-rays and is entirely painless. The breasts are not pressed uncomfortably tight during the procedure, but are placed in breast coils with the patients lying on their stomachs.

Advantages of Breast MRI for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer

MRI examinations of the breast offer a high degree of accuracy in the diagnosis of early stage tumors.

According to an international study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, breast MRI is especially well-suited to the detection of aggressive tumors. The scope of the study included more than 7,000 women who were examined using both conventional x-ray mammography and MRI. While x-ray mammography showed a detection rate of only 52% (93 cases) for early stage breast cancer, the detection rate for breast MRI was 98% (167 cases), including all of the cases of aggressive tumors. No other currently available method offers this degree of accuracy.

Advantages of Breast MRI

  • High diagnostic accuracy
  • No exposure to x-rays
  • No tight pressing of the breast
  • Well-suited to small breasts
  • Especially well-suited for women with very dense glandular tissue
  • Diagnostic range includes the thoracic cavity and the armpits
  • Also enables early detection & prevention for younger women
  • Ideal for follow-up examinations in cases of known breast cancer

    questions

    When is breast MRI recommended?

    This safe and reliable examination is generally suitable for all women who are interested in the early detection and prevention of breast cancer. This applies especially to women who place great value in taking a preventive approach to their health and to women who may have a hereditary predisposition (family history) for breast cancer.

    According to a report issued by the Robert Koch Institute, the incidence of breast cancer has increased by 50% since the 1980s. This increase emphasizes the importance of an examination that enables one to reliably detect breast tumors. Given that the breast is a soft-tissue organ, breast MRI represents an ideal means of early detection.

    In contrast to conventional mammography, breast MRI also represents an especially reliable means of diagnosis in patients with dense glandular tissue and large breasts. Furthermore, the examination is ideal for women who have already undergone breast surgery because it offers a means of differentiating between scar tissue and tissue changes indicating breast cancer recurrence or metastasis. In cases of known breast cancer, breast MRI offers a means of ruling out further tumor formation and monitoring a patient’s response to various forms of treatment such as chemotherapy.

    Prerequisites for Breast MRI

    Breast MRI for the early detection and prevention of breast cancer is best carried out between the 7th and the 14th day of the menstrual cycle. This is because it is easier to evaluate the glandular tissue of the breast during this phase of the menstrual cycle.

    Patients who have had previous breast examinations or who have undergone a recent conventional mammography are to bring the relevant medical reports along with them.

    Various forms of hormone therapy can lead to changes in the breast tissue, making the tissue denser and more difficult to evaluate. For this reason, hormone treatments or hormone replacement therapy should be discontinued 4 to 6 weeks before a scheduled examination.

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