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Breast MRI is available at this location:
The only Accredited Breast MRI offered in the Southtowns.
Breast MRIs are often encouraged for women who have a known high risk of breast cancer, including those with substantial family history of the disease.
Breast MRIs can also be useful to further evaluate abnormalities seen in a mammogram, after a new breast cancer diagnosis is discovered, when determining the extent or stage of cancer, or if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
The Southtowns Radiology Women’s Care Team, including our board-certified radiologists, work collaboratively with referring providers and breast centers across Western New York. If you live or work in the Southtowns, talk with your doctor about advanced imaging available at our Orchard Park office. We are a nationally accredited Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, and have also received additional accreditation as a Breast MRI Facility by the ACR.
Breast MRI for Women with High Risk of Breast Cancer
While MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging, it can help with a more detailed analysis, especially for women who are at a high risk for breast cancer.
Women with a strong family history of breast cancer may be appropriate candidates for breast MRI imaging in conjunction with their scheduled mammogram and ultrasound.
A strong family history typically includes a mother or sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50. Aunts or cousins, including paternal relatives, who were diagnosed with breast cancer should also be considered when discussing family history. Relatives diagnosed with ovarian cancer also increase overall risk for breast cancer, and should be considered when determining lifetime risk.
Our radiologists along with your primary care provider and/or your OB/GYN can look at your family history. Together, this team can help determine if screening via breast MRI may be appropriate for you. Depending on your family history, genetic counseling may also be recommended.
Additionally, in rare cases an abnormality seen on a mammogram cannot be adequately evaluated by further mammography and ultrasound alone. In such cases, an MRI of the breast can be used to definitively determine if the abnormality needs biopsy or can safely be left alone.
Breast MRI After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, your breast surgeon or oncologist may order a breast MRI to determine the extent of the cancer. This imaging typically looks to determine:
- how large the cancer is and whether it involves the underlying muscle.
- if there are other cancers in the same breast and whether there is an unsuspected cancer in the opposite breast.
- if there are any abnormally large lymph nodes in the armpit, which can be a sign the cancer has spread to that site.
Following treatment for breast cancer, scarring and recurrent cancer can look identical on mammography and ultrasound. If a change in a lumpectomy scar is detected by either mammography or a physical exam, MRI can help determine whether the change is normal maturation of the scar or a recurrence of the cancer.
In some cases, breast cancer will be treated with chemotherapy before it has been removed by surgery. This is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In these cases, MRI is often used to monitor how well the chemotherapy is working and to reevaluate the amount of tumor still present before the surgery is scheduled.
Breast MRI to Evaluate Breast Implants
An MRI of the breast is also the best test for determining whether silicone implants have ruptured. Most often, contrast is not required to determine this.
If you are a healthcare provider and need to talk with our radiologist about breast MRI, or you need to schedule a diagnostic study for your patient, please call our dedicated provider line at 716.649.9000 and choose option 3.