Breast MRI uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and is a non-invasive procedure that produces hundreds of cross-sectional images of the breast. It helps diagnose and stage breast cancer, making it a valuable tool for physicians when determining the most appropriate course of a patient's treatment.
MRI has been shown to detect small breast lesions that are sometimes missed by mammography; in addition, MRI can successfully image dense breast tissue (which is usually found in younger women) as well as breasts with implants. However, because of its sensitivity, MRI sometimes produces "false positive" results; therefore, the American Cancer Society (ACS) does not recommend MRI for all women.
The ACS does recommend that women at very high risk of developing breast cancer have annual breast MRIs in addition to annual mammograms, to increase the likelihood that any cancer will be detected as early as possible, when the chances of effective treatment are greatest.
At Virginia Hospital Center, all breast imaging studies—MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, and image-guided biopsies—are evaluated by board-certified radiologists with advanced expertise in breast diagnostics, including two fellowship-trained breast radiologists who are dedicated exclusively to breast imaging.