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Yearly MRIs for large-breasted women?

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Ask-the-Expert Online Conference

Question from Rusina: I have heard that MRIs are more effective than mammograms for large-breasted women in detecting initial cancer occurrence or recurrence. Should I ask for an MRI instead of a mammogram for my yearly check-up? I had surgery three times on the affected breast and find that mammograms have become very painful, with effects lasting up to a month.
Answers - Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. MRI is not an appropriate screening tool in the general population and digital mammography machines are now available that can accommodate large-breasted women. The mammogram is still at this point in time our tool that we use for screening in general and should be the starting point for the annual exam. If a question is raised on the mammography, at times it may be appropriate to follow up with an ultrasound and/or MRI scan prior to another biopsy, given the history of surgery three times previously in one breast.

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.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2006.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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