Myth: A breast MRI can take the place of an annual mammogram
Truth: For certain women at high risk for breast cancer, a screening MRI is recommended along with a yearly mammogram. MRI is not recommended as a screening test by itself because it can miss some cancers that a mammogram would find.
Although MRI can find some cancers not seen on a mammogram, it’s also more likely to find things that turn out not to be cancer (called a false positive). This can result in a woman getting tests and/or biopsies that end up not being needed. This is why MRI is not recommended as a screening test for women at average risk of breast cancer.
Myth: A breast MRI is the same on any MRI machine
Truth: A breast MRI is best performed on a high-field MRI system with breast coils specifically designed for breast imaging. It is very helpful for the reading radiologist to have a dedicated breast imaging work station to assist in his or her interpretation, which Shields offers at all locations that provide breast MRI services.
Myth: There is radiation in breast MRI
Truth: Your radiologist will tell you that whether you have a closed or an open MRI, you are never at risk for radiation exposure. “MRI” actually stands for magnetic resonance imaging, which means that these scans use only magnetic power and radio waves to create images from the information captured in the scan. Radiation is never used under any circumstances and your MRI scan will not cause cancer.
Shields offers breast MRI services at over 17 of our locations, including our outpatient locations. To make an appointment, call 1-800-258-4674.