Health

Oct 23, 2013 8:25 AM by Elizabeth Hill

MRI alongside mammography helps better detect breast cancer

These days, doctors rely on many different forms of technology to detect, treat and prevent breast cancer. When it comes to detection, mammography is still the gold standard.

"In a doctors bag of diagnosing breast cancer, mammography is the first line of defense."

Diagnostic radiologist at the Women's Imaging Center, Dr. Philip Meyer says over the last 20 years, the use of mammograms for early detection has decreased the mortality rate of breast cancer.

While certainly effective, mammography is not the most detailed test. That's where MRI comes in. It is the most sensitive test for breast cancer, but there is a downside.

"While being very sensitive to breast carcinoma, it also picks up a lot of other entities."

That's why MRI is often used alongside mammography and ultra- sound to help doctors get the clearest picture possible.

"When imaging modalities such as ultrasound and mammography are not conclusive, MRI can be employed to help cast the deciding vote."

The American Cancer Society recommends women at a higher risk of breast cancer based on family history or genetic factors, get MRI testing along with yearly mammogram.

They add that if used, MRI screening should not be used instead of mammography.

 

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