Biannual MRIs Recommended For Women At High Risk Of Breast Cancer

Shahid Iquebal   by Shahid Iquebal, M.Pharm.    Last updated on December 5, 2018,

Biannual MRIs

 

A new research study recommends that women with a high risk of developing breast cancer should consider more than just mammograms for early detection of cancer and treatment.

The study conducted and published by the American Association for Cancer Research shows women having certain genes should be considered for screening twice a year using MRIs.

However, this study doesn’t nullify the annual mammogram screening and in no way suggests that women should no longer get annual mammograms. But MRI screening can be helpful in saving lives for a certain section of women.

The study focused on 295 high-risk women for aggressive breast cancer and finds that MRI screenings were able to detect 88.2 percent of cancers for many high-risk women whereas in comparison yearly mammograms caught 41.2 percent only.

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According to Dr. Lora Barke with Invision Sally Jobe Breast Centers “it sheds light on the fact that not all women are the same.” Dr. Barke further said that an assessment is needed for women at age of 30 to determine what kind of screening is best for them.

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“Mammography is for everyone,” she said. “Then, what can we add to that -- sometimes it’s MRI and sometimes it’s screening breast ultrasound.”

The study recommends women with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes who are at high risk or battling a recurrence should be screened twice a year with MRIs. It can help in better monitoring of women with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes. These genes have been found to increase the risk of being diagnosed with aggressive breast cancers.

 “I think if they can find different diagnostic tools that are more effective and can catch breast cancer early, it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Denver-area breast cancer survivor Lindsay Fryer.