169 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905
Phone: 607-798-6161 Fax: 607-798-6111
Dynamic Breast MRI
Lourdes is pleased to remain on the cutting edge of cancer detection and diagnosis by offering Breast MR (Magnetic Resonance). MR is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnets and radio waves to produce a picture of the inside of the body. This test is not painful, and there is no harmful radiation involved. It is usually done for breast cancer staging or for evaluating implants. Breast MR is now recommended by the American Cancer Society for:
- women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation.
- women with a strong family history of breast cancer (parent, sibling, child).
- women with cancer detected in one breast.
- women who had radiation to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30.
- women who have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalca syndrome, or may have one of these syndromes based on a history in a first-degree relative.
MR is also useful in imaging dense breast tissue, which is often found in younger women, and in viewing breast abnormalities that can be felt but are not visible with conventional mammography or ultrasound. In general, MR is a compliment to a diagnostic mammogram and does not replace screening mammography.
During an MR of the breast, the patient lies on her stomach on the scanning table. The breast protrudes into a depression in the table, which contains coils that detect the magnetic signal. The table is moved into a tube-like machine that contains the magnet. After an initial series of images has been taken, the patient may be given a contrast agent intravenously (by injection into a vein). The contrast agent is not radioactive; it is used to improve the visibility of the breast tissue. Additional images are then taken. The imaging session takes about 30 minutes.
Dynamic Breast MRI
Although not a replacement for traditional mammography, the new American Cancer Society guidelines recommend Breast MR screenings in addition to mammograms for women at high risk. High risk women include those who have a strong family history of breast cancer, those who have been diagnosed with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, or those who have already found cancer in one breast with mammography or ultrasound. Breast MR can be used in high-risk women when the findings of a mammogram or ultrasound are inconclusive because of dense breast tissue or there is a suspected abnormality that requires further evaluation. It is commonly used to evaluate for surgical planning; as many as 10% of women with breast cancer develop a new tumor in the opposite breast, even though nothing is found when they are checked with mammograms and physical exams at the time of their original diagnosis. Finding these cancers earlier could help women make treatment decisions (some women with cancer in just one breast opt to have both breasts removed as a precaution), and might spare them from extra rounds of surgery and chemotherapy later.
A referral is needed for this procedure. To determine if a breast MR is right for you, contact your health care provider.