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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.

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