BREAST MRI

WHAT IS MRI?

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • It uses a magnetic field to create images within the body

  • No radiation is used

  • Contrast (“dye”) is usually given via a vein in breast MRI, to create better images with more information

 

DO I NEED A BREAST MRI?

  • Not everyone with a breast problem or breast cancer requires MRI scanning

  • It can be very useful in certain situations and will be discussed with you if you fit one of these

 

WHO NEEDS MRI THEN?

  • Currently there is only a Medicare rebate available for breast MRI in the screening of women under 50 who are considered at high risk for breast cancer based on their family history of cancer

  • Outside this indication, your surgeon may recommend breast MRI in situations where s/he feels conventional imaging (mammogram and/or ultrasound) is not providing adequate information

  • MRI is the best tool in looking for leaking implants

 

I DON'T LIKE MAMMOGRAMS; CAN I HAVE BREAST SCREENING WITH MRI INSTEAD? 

  • MRI is an excellent breast cancer screening tool - but does not completely replace mammogram as some cancerous changes may not show up on MRI but can on mammogram

 

WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF BREAST MRI?

  • Whilst breast MRI is more effective than mammogram and/or ultrasound in detecting breast cancer, it can still “not see” them

  • Breast MRI may find lesions we otherwise wouldn’t have seen which are ultimately proved to be benign – but this may involve additional testing and often anxiety for the woman involved

  • MRI can lead to “over treatment” of breast cancer if it indicates the cancer may be bigger than it actually is, or by finding additional “spots” of possible cancer in either breast which might actually turn out benign or would have been treated adequately without any additional treatment to what was already planned

  • Some women find being in the MRI scanner quite claustrophobic (though sometimes a mild sedative may help)

  • MRI may not be possible in pregnancy and/or breast feeding

 

HOW IS BREAST MRI PERFORMED?

  • If you are pre menopausal, your surgeon will attempt to time your MRI for day 6-16 of your cycle; this facilitates better picture quality of your breast tissue

  • You will be asked to lie face down on a soft table with the breasts passing through a gap to hang within a magnetic coil – where the pictures are generated from

  • Once you are positioned, the MRI technician will leave the room and the table you are lying on will slide forward into a tunnel

  • An intravenous injection is common and helps provide more information about the breast tissue

  • The process uses a magnetic field – you should alert your surgeon to any metal which may be in your body and take off any metal jewellery / hairclips / watches / etc.

  • The scan is quite noisy and can take around 20 minutes

  • There is no compression or radiation

  • If you feel anxious or claustrophobic at any time and need assistance, you will have a button to call for help

Melbourne Breast and Endocrine Surgeons Mr Sunil Jassal
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Mr Sunil Jassal
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BreastScreen Victoria Mr Sunil Jassal

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Sunil Jassal Breast and General Surgeon

MBES: 265 Mitcham Road, Mitcham, VICTORIA 3132

MBES at MARTIN MEDICAL: Suite 1, Level 3, 10 Martin Street, Heidelberg, VICTORIA 3084