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Beating Breast Cancer – Mixing Mammography with Breast MRI

by | Apr 23, 2021 | MRI

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Breast cancer continues to plague women all over the world. It’s a chronic condition that often causes just not the loss of breasts, but their lives. Women struggle against the disease, which can be just as difficult to defeat as cervical cancer. The best way to win the cancer battle is to simply get diagnosed early, but many women experience false positives or simply do not get accurate results.

Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer, but the progress can be stalled due to dense breast tissue. These essentially hide cancer cells or tumors during the mammogram process, which is why healthcare experts turn to supplemental methods—such as medical imaging. 

Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can see through the densest of breast tissues, which effectively arms women with the right knowledge and confidence to pursue treatment. This method essentially makes use of magnetic fields on the specific area, which then creates an accurate image of the breast. 

To learn more about the importance of breast magnetic resonance imaging, here’s a quick and easy guide to follow:

 

The Barrier: Understanding Dense Breast Tissue 

Breasts are made of fibrous connective tissues, which are then tasked with producing milk. They’re essentially fat, which can also determine the size. Although having dense breast tissue is normal, many women who suffer from breast cancer often go undiagnosed due to these issues. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing if a woman has breast dense tissue or not. This cannot be determined by mere examination by hand, nor through the firmness level. 

How can dense breast issues become a problem? As previously mentioned, these tissues can be so packed that they end up masking tumors and signs of cancer, even under the process of a mammogram. The fibrous tissues look white in a mammogram, which effectively masks tumors—which also come up as the same color in the results. 

With the help of an MRI screening, however, women are now empowered to take control of their narrative—and strike the moment cancer is detected. Due to the nature of an MRI, however, not all women are recommended for such screenings. 

 

Who should have a breast MRI for screening?

Yearly mammograms are recommended for all women in their reproductive years, but those deemed with higher risks for developing breast cancer are recommended more tests, such as the MRI screening. According to American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines, the following women suffering from the following conditions are to be considered high-risk for breast cancer:

  • Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
  • Women with relatives who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
  • Women with a family history of breast cancer and other forms of cancer
  • Women who have already developed other forms of cancer
  • Women suffering from genetic diseases, including the Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and even Cowden syndrome

 

The Bottom Line

Mixing breast MRI with mammography is another innovative solution, which addresses the problem of dense breast tissue in high-risk women. The technology is essentially capable of finding breast tumors, which could be hiding under dense mass. Mammography remains to be the best screening process for breast cancer, but with the help of medical imaging, even more lives can be saved.

To learn more about the medical imaging industry, DirectMed Parts has you covered. We are the country’s most trusted and knowledgeable source for everything medical imaging. Allow our professional team to help you in the ways your facility needs it. Reach out today to learn more. 

 

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