The full title is “Indications for Breast MRI in the Patient with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer.” It is a Medscape CME article. The article discussed exactly what the title implies. It does so by looking at the published research.
Some of their findings:
- MRIs have a high sensitivity for detecting otherwise occult cancers in women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
- MRIs can improve assessment of disease extent in the breast known to be affected with cancer and may detect mammographically occult cancer in the contralateral breast.
- Nothing published suggests that breast MRI should be used as a substitute for screening or diagnostic mammography.
- MRIs should be used as an adjunct to mammography and not in lieu of standard breast imaging with mammography and, when indicated, diagnostic breast ultrasound.
- MRI detects the primary cancer in up to 70% of these patients with adenocarcinoma meta states in the axillary lumph nodes without an identified primary source, changing the staging from T0 (unknown primary) to the defined T1 to T3.
- To address the current lack of standardization in MRI technique, the American College of Radiology (ACR) is developing a voluntary Breast MRI Accreditation Program, which will include minimum standards for breast MRI.
Other Blog Posts of Interest:
Breast Self Exam (BSE) (Oct 6, 2008)
Mammograms (Oct 13, 2008)
Breast Cancer Screening in Childhood Cancer Survivors (Feb 4, 2009)
Indications for Breast MRI in the Patient With Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer; Medscape Article, posted 02/16/2009; Constance D. Lehman, MD, PhD; Wendy DeMartini, MD; Benjamin O. Anderson, MD; Stephen B. Edge, MD