Interval breast cancers include situations where a tumor was present when the mammography was performed but the cancer was missed, as well as tumors that arise during the interval between mammograms. These fast-growing tumors tend to be more aggressive and associated with a poorer prognosis. Interval cancers are among the most frustrating problems associated with breast cancer screening. But studying how and why these cases occur may help researchers identify subgroups of women who need mammography more frequently, at younger ages or who would benefit from a more rigorous type of screening, such as screening with ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging MRI technology.
Breast MRIs May Find Cancer Elsewhere
Breast MRI - Mayo Clinic
MRI scans are usually done on an outpatient basis in a hospital or clinic. Your breasts will hang down into an opening in the table so they can be scanned without being compressed. The technologist may use pillows to make you comfortable and help keep you from moving. The table then slides into a long, narrow tube.
The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.
In about 20 percent of women with breast cancer who plan to undergo a lumpectomy, breast magnetic resonance imaging reveals important diagnostic information that alters their treatment plan, University of Florida surgeons report. MRI, which is not routinely administered to these patients, can find additional cancerous areas in the breast that previously evaded detection, discover cancer in the opposite breast that standard imaging tests such as mammography and ultrasound missed, or determine a tumor is actually larger than expected, the doctors say. Some of these women end up needing a total mastectomy instead of breast-conserving lumpectomy.
Additional breast cancers found with MRI are sometimes larger and potentially more aggressive than those found on mammography, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology. Researchers said that in some cases MRI findings of additional cancers not seen on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. Breast MRI is the most sensitive technique for the detection of breast cancer, with widespread application in the screening of high-risk patients and pre-surgical planning.