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More than 275,000 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the United States this year, and over 40,000 will die from the disease. The American Cancer Society now recommends that women at a high-risk for breast cancer get a screening Breast MRI every year.
Compared to mammography and ultrasound, Breast MRI is a completely different way of looking at the breast. It is an advanced tool using MRI technology, sophisticated computers, and 3-D techniques that look deeply into the breast to discover abnormalities that might not be visible in other exams.
Other reasons for getting a Breast MRI include: current breast cancer diagnosis, prior to breast cancer surgery, and to detect a breast implant leak.
There are numerous factors that can contribute to a woman's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. And some factors matter more than others. The best way to determine your own risk is to talk to your doctor. Rick factors include:
The best way to understand your own risk is to talk with your doctor. Your doctor will use a special risk-assessment tool to determine your lifetime risk. A helpful tool that you can use yourself is online at: http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/. It is important that you discuss the results with your physician.
Absolutely. A Breast MRI should not take the place of your annual mammogram. If you are at high-risk, you should have an annual Breast MRI in addition to your annual mammogram.
The exam will be performed at the Martha Jefferson Hospital's Main Campus and will take about 30-45 minutes. Prior to the exam, an IV will be inserted into your arm to administer the contrast material. You will lie very still, face down with your breasts resting in a cushioned coil while you are moved in and out of the MRI machine. Halfway through the exam, you will receive a painless injection of contrast and more images will be taken.
If you are claustrophobic or anxious about your MRI exam, you may want to contact your physician at least two days prior to your appointment to obtain a prescription for a mild sedative.
After the exam is complete, the radiologist will read and interpret your MRI and your physician will be contacted with the results.
If you would like to get a Breast MRI, please talk with your physician. Your physician's office will call Martha Jefferson's Medical Imaging Department at (434) 654-7130 to schedule the exam and send an order.
Most insurances are covering Breast MRIs for woman at high-risk for breast cancer. For certain patients, depending on their diagnosis and insurance, the exam may not be covered. Please check with your individual insurance company. Martha Jefferson has created a discount option for women whose insurance will not cover the exam. The cost of the exam is $1500, which includes the exam, contrast material, and radiologist interpretation.
Martha Jefferson has extensive experience in all facets of breast imaging and is proud to offer a comprehensive Breast MRI program with the most advanced technology currently available, including a high-field MRI machine, a special breast coil, and the ability to perform MRI-guided breast biopsies. Our integrated team of highly trained and specialized radiologists and breast surgeons have extensive experience in breast imaging and minimally invasive breast biopsy procedures. Martha Jefferson's dedicated breast technology and expertise in breast imaging allows for superior screening and diagnostic capabilities for the Charlottesville community.