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Christina Applegate's Breast Cancer: FAQ

Applegate's Breast Cancer Found Early; Full Recovery Expected, Says Actress' Publicist

continued...

When you say kick them out, you mean refuse to do it.

Correct. They won't pay for it; they'll refuse to pay for it. Because they are clearly looking at breast MRI to make sure it meets justification.

What about ultrasound? Don't a lot of women get mammogram and ultrasound as well because of density?

You can, but ultrasound works really well if you know I need to look right around here because there was something on the mammogram or something the patient feels. When you have to screen the entire breast, it becomes a much more difficult test to do. ... [It] only looks at one small area of the breast at a time and you've got to move it all around the whole breast. It is very easy to miss things.

Do you think MRI is going to get refined to the point where there aren't as many false-positives?

It probably will. I'm not an MRI guru. I clearly think there are people working on that. I think the Germans have done a very good job with breast MRI. Look at mammography 30 or 40 years ago. They didn't do so great with it; we're clearly much better than we used to [be]. So do I think MRI will get refined? I do. Is it ever going to replace mammography? I think it's going to be a long time before that ever happens.

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