MRI 'Useful' in Breast Cancer Screening

MRI 'Useful' in Breast Cancer Screening

MRI 'Useful' in Breast Cancer Screening

Cancer patient, cancer patients, surviving cancer, cancer awareness, breast cancer screening, MRI, cancer detection, detecting cancer, breast cancer, cancer research, cancer news, cancer diagnosis, diagnosing cancer, cancer news, Schrading, Simone Schrading, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium,

Can MRI help with the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer?

Even for women at average risk of breast cancer, screening by magnetic resonance imaging can detect small malignancies that would otherwise be missed, a researcher has announced.

In a prospective study, the vast majority of MRI scans found nothing out of the ordinary in a cohort of women whose mammograms, ultrasounds, and clinical exams were all normal, according to Simone Schrading, MD, of the University of Aachen in Germany.

But in 3.2% of the scans, investigators found something that required a biopsy, although half turned out to be benign, Schrading reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium .

MRI screening is recommended for women with high risk of breast cancer, but not for those whose risk is average, Schrading noted.

But the findings suggests such screening would be "useful ... “The additional cancer detection rate is high, even in heavily pre-screened women."

Cancer patient, cancer patients, surviving cancer, cancer awareness, breast cancer screening, MRI, cancer detection, detecting cancer, breast cancer, cancer research, cancer news, cancer diagnosis, diagnosing cancer, cancer news, Schrading, Simone Schrading, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium,

She and colleagues enrolled women with an average age of 54 who had no personal or family history of breast cancer, no previous chest radiation, and no diagnoses of breast tissue changes, as well as normal mammograms, ultrasounds, and clinical exams.

They were offered annual MRI tests over the 7 years from January 2005 through December 2011. All told, 1,705 MRI exams were completed.

Of those, 90.9% were classified as either I or II on the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System, or BI-RADS, indicating there was no indication of disease.

Another 5.9% were classified as BI-RADS III and had MRI follow-up but were found to be "uneventful," Schrading said.

The remaining 3.2% - 54 of the 1,705 scans - were either BI-RADS IV or BI-RADS V, and the investigators followed up with a biopsy.

Of the 54, Schrading reported, 28 were benign, eight were regarded as "high risk," and 18 were malignant.

These figures yielded a cancer detection rate of 11 per 1,000 screens among a population with average risk and otherwise normal screening tests, Schrading said.

Cancer patient, cancer patients, surviving cancer, cancer awareness, breast cancer screening, MRI, cancer detection, detecting cancer, breast cancer, cancer research, cancer news, cancer diagnosis, diagnosing cancer, cancer news, Schrading, Simone Schrading, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium,

Of the 18 cancers, she noted, 11 were invasive and seven were ductal carcinoma in situ. On average, the invasive cancers were 11 millimeters in diameter and nine of the 11 were intermediate or high grade.

All of the invasive cancers were staged as having no nodal involvement and no distant metastases, Schrading reported.

The worry about extending MRI screening to more women is cost and access, commented Robert Smith, PhD, of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.

"There's a lot of data that show the cancer detection rate is higher with MRI than with mammography or mammography combined with ultrasound," he told MedPage Today.

"What has everybody concerned is that screening ideally ought to be a simple, low-cost test with a minimal downside," he said.

MRI, he said, adds "an order of magnitude of complexity" to breast cancer screening, and it remains to be seen if the approach can be delivered in a way that allows wide access.

Cancer patient, cancer patients, surviving cancer, cancer awareness, breast cancer screening, MRI, cancer detection, detecting cancer, breast cancer, cancer research, cancer news, cancer diagnosis, diagnosing cancer, cancer news, Schrading, Simone Schrading, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium,

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