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Add MRI to mammogram and BSE?


Ask-the-Expert Online Conference

Question from Maureen: I am a 53-year-old female with calculated risk 3.8% (sister and mother had breast cancer). Is there any benefit in adding MRI to annual mammogram and monthly self-exam?
Answers - Terri McHugh Statistical models have been created to estimate a woman's chance of developing breast cancer based on various personal and/or family history factors. Having a calculated risk of breast cancer of 3.8% [the risk of developing breast cancer in the next 5 years], I assume you were using the Gail Risk Assessment Model. (A value equal to or greater than 1.7% places a woman in the high-risk category for breast cancer using the Gail model.) Your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is at least 26%. Breast screening recommendations for women in this high-risk category include: monthly self-breast examination starting by age 18, clinical breast examination performed by a physician every 6 months, and annual mammogram. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends annual breast MRI in addition to annual mammogram, ideally alternating every 6 months. Additionally, chemoprevention with tamoxifen should be discussed with your treating physician(s), as it has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women by almost 50%.

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