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MRI Detects Early Breast Cancer Cells

Study Shows MRI Screening Has High Detection Rate of Precancerous Cells

The Promise of MRI

About 20% of breast cancers now detected are confined to the milk ducts, compared to just 2% prior to the widespread use of mammography.

In an editorial accompanying the German study, radiology professor Carla Boetes, MD, PhD, of Radboud University in The Netherlands, writes that while mammography had dramatically improved the detection of these very early breast cancers, wider use of screening MRI might have an even greater impact.

"That only 20% of tumors detected through screening are pure DCIS is disappointing, when one keeps in mind that most breast tumors probably evolve from DCIS," she writes. "The observation that MRI detects many DCIS lesions that go unnoticed on mammography implies that some invasive carcinomas can be prevented by timely intervention on the basis of MRI findings."

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