Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

MRI Urged for High Breast Cancer Risk

American Cancer Society Recommends Annual Breast MRI for Very High-Risk Women

MRI Helps Women With New Breast Cancer

Separately, a new study complements the ACS recommendations. It shows that for women with a new diagnosis of cancer in one breast, MRI is much better than mammography for determining whether the other breast carries a cancer. Constance Lehman, MD, PhD, director of breast imaging at the University of Washington and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, was one of the study’s researchers.

"This means that instead of those women having another cancer diagnosis years after their initial treatment, we can diagnose and treat those opposite-breast cancers at the time of the initial diagnosis," Lehman says in a news release.

Perhaps more importantly, MRI can all but rule out cancer in the second breast.

"Although no imaging tool is perfect, if the MRI is negative, the chance of cancer in that breast is extremely low," Lehman notes. "A potential outcome that we would be delighted to see is fewer unnecessary bilateral mastectomies."

Lehman and colleagues report their findings in the March 29 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.


Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow