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MRIs for sisters of diagnosed?

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Question from Stella: My now 37-year-old daughter was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2002, now a Stage IV. I have three other daughters, two younger and one older than the one with breast cancer. Thankfully, all my other daughters have had clear mammograms. Should they also have MRIs, even though insurance won't cover them?
Answers - Lynn Hartmann If that is the only breast cancer in the family, that in and of itself does not say it's a hereditary process, so I would not recommend MRIs for the sisters. I think certainly the older sister should be examined and have a mammogram and someone should take a good family history, see if there are other breast or ovarian cancers in the family. Or is it an Ashkenazi Jewish family, which would raise the index of suspicion that it might be hereditary? Bottom line: try to determine if this is hereditary or not, but I would not automatically recommend breast MRIs for the family.
Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. I agree completely about the additional family history and would certainly suggest that the sisters be vigilant about their breast exams and be followed by their gynecologists as well on a regular basis.

This Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Risk Reduction featured Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Lynn Hartmann answering your questions about breast cancer risk factors and ways to lower your risk.

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