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Breast MRI

Excellence in Breast Cancer Detection

Breast MRI’s are not a usual part of a standard breast screening routine. Doctors typically order these tests when a biopsy or mammogram has an abnormality that could indicate the presence of cancer. While this information may be alarming at first, keep in mind that taking the extra step to confirm the diagnosis is of the utmost importance. The earlier cancer is detected, the better your chances of fighting it. Also, having a doctor recommend a breast MRI is not the same thing as being diagnosed with breast cancer.

What is a Breast MRI?

A breast MRI is a painless, radiation-free imaging procedure. When you arrive for the procedure, you will be provided with a medical gown to change into. Be sure to leave all valuables and jewelry at home. You cannot take them with you in the MRI.

MRI’s involve lying down in a small, confined space for an extended period of time. Patients with claustrophobia may have trouble with this, but it is important to keep still during the procedure. The doctor can provide you with a sedative to help you relax during the exam.

Here’s what you can expect during your exam:

  • You will lie face down on a padded table that has two depressions for your breasts.
  • The table slides into the large, tube-shaped MRI device.
  • The MRI will start rotating around your body, you will hear loud noises while this happens.
  • A technician will be monitoring the test from another room.
  • A microphone installed in the MRI device will allow you to speak with the technician and alert them if you start experiencing any discomfort.
  • You will need to lie still during the exam, but you can continue to breathe as normal.

MRI’s use magnetic waves rather than the radiation used in many other imaging tests. The tests should be painless and have no side effects. The entire exam can take up to an hour.

When the exam is finished, it can take your doctor several days to examine the results. Physicians typically prioritize result analysis for patients with the highest risk factors, so do not assume the news is bad if you haven’t heard anything in a while. If your results do show that cancer is present, your care team will want to start working with you as soon as possible to start treatment plan.

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