Breast MRI (Advanced Breast Imaging)
Breast MRI is the latest and most sensitive study to date in the detection of breast cancer.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive imaging procedure that is used to analyze the inside of the breast when conventional exams such as mammography and ultrasound fail to provide enough information needed to make an accurate diagnosis. MRI creates images through a combination of steady and changing magnetic fields and pulsing radio signals. No compression of the breast is required and there is no radiation exposure.
This newly emerging technology is offered in a limited number of locations throughout Michigan, due to the required specialized equipment and the overall complexity. In an effort to have the most qualified breast imaging specialist interpret the exam, a unique collaborative agreement was made whereby the study can be performed in Midland and the interpretation completed by radiologists David Strahle, M.D. and Randy Hicks, M.D., at Medical Regional Imaging in Flint.
Uses of Breast MRI
“Breast MRI is rapidly expanding and can be helpful in identifying lesions, locating suspicious areas difficult to identify on mammograms and or ultrasound in very dense or thick breast tissue,” said Drs. Strahle and Hicks.
In addition, the technology also provides valuable information for staging and treating breast cancer, monitoring of certain patients after breast cancer therapy, determining breast implant integrity, and screening women at high risk for developing breast cancer.
"I use breast MRI in most of my patients with a new diagnosis of breast cancer. It gives me the exact geometry of the tumor which helps me plan my surgical approach,” said MidMichigan breast surgeon Ellsworth Ludwig, M.D. “MRI also lets me confidently tell my patients that there are no other tumors in the involved or other breast."
Does Not Replace Mammography
“Breast MRI does not replace standard screening and diagnostic procedures, such as mammography and ultrasound,” said MidMichigan breast surgeon James Reif, M.D. “Overall mammography can detect breast cancer 80 to 90 percent of the time. Mammography also remains the most reliable test to detect small calcifications which can be an early indication of cancer.”
Breast MRI helps when the standard tests can not answer a diagnostic problem, and can be quite helpful when women have dense breast tissue which reduces the diagnostic sensitivity of mammograms.
This service is provided by MidMichigan Regional Imaging, an affiliate of MidMichigan Health.
The MidMichigan Health Difference
The Center for Women’s Health at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MidMichigan is also one of the only programs in the region to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.