Breast MRI: When is it Helpful?

At Cheyenne Radiology, we are committed to supporting women’s health at our Women’s Imaging Pavilion with compassion and state-of-the-art technology.

That’s why we offer breast MRIs to help women in special circumstances who need more information to be certain about their health. Breast MRIs are not intended to replace mammograms, but may be a useful supplementary tool for your health.

We encourage you to talk with your doctor about the benefits, risks, and limitations of an MRI and whether it’s appropriate for your unique situation. Here are some reasons your doctor may recommend a breast MRI.

  1. You have a high risk for developing breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends a breast MRI in addition to an annual mammogram for women with an unusually high risk, such as a strong family history or a mutation in the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene.

If your medical history suggests you may have a hereditary gene mutation that elevates your risk of breast and ovarian cancer, Cheyenne Radiology also provides genetic screening services.

  1. Your mammogram or ultrasound results are unclear.

Sometimes there’s a suspicious or uncertain area on your mammogram or ultrasound and your doctor needs more information to make a diagnosis. Mammograms and ultrasounds may be unclear for many reasons, including dense breast tissue or breast implants.

  1. You have been diagnosed or treated for breast cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, breast MRIs can be helpful in determining the actual size of the cancer, allowing you and your doctor to make a more informed decision about your treatment plan.

If you have already been treated, scar tissue can cause your mammograms to produce vague or confusing images. MRIs can help distinguish between scar tissue and a cancer recurrence.

  1. A mammogram is not a practical option for you.

For some patients, such as women with breast implants, mammograms are not an option because of rupture concerns. The extra sensitivities of MRIs make them helpful for both investigating signs of breast cancer and detecting implant ruptures.

Don’t forget: if you and your doctor decide a breast MRI is right for you, ask for a referral to Cheyenne Radiology and we’ll help you know sooner and be certain.

To learn more about MRIs, you may be interested in some of our previous articles about MRIs:

What’s An MRI Exactly And What’s the Big Deal About Tesla?

3 Common Myths About MRIs

How MRIs Made a Difference For 3 Famous Athletes

What Type of MRI Patient Are You?