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Saving Women’s Lives: Strategies for Improving Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis
screening certain women, such as young women at high risk for breast cancer.h MRI cannot always accurately distinguish between cancer and benign (noncancerous) breast conditions. Uses of MRI may include assessment of abnormalities that are unclear on a mammogram, determination of the extent of tumor growth after initial diagnosis, and for evaluation of the effectiveness of treatments. MRI may also be useful in imaging augmented breast tissue, dense breast tissue (often found in younger women), and viewing breast abnormalities that can be felt but are not visible with conventional mammography or ultrasound.43 While contrast-enhanced MRI is statistically significantly more accurate than mammography for detecting multicentric DCIS, it was significantly less specific than mammography for detecting associated invasive disease in one published series.19 MRI is expensive, about 10 times the cost of conventional mammography and, because it will generate more false-positive results, it generates added costs of additional biopsies and/or other diagnostic follow-up. Ultimately more research on the proper application of MRI is needed. The technique may prove useful for special cases, such as screening women with very high risk of developing breast cancer, examining breast implant integrity, and for determining the extent of disease in women with cancer.43
American College of Radiology Imaging Network trial 6667. MRI Evaluation of the Contralateral Breast in Women with a Recent Diagnosis of Breast Cancer.