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MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Indications

The breast MRI scan does not replace the mammogram or the breast ultrasound, and is not a systematic examination for the diagnosis of breast cancer.

It is an extra examination that the doctor may sometimes recommend :

  • to assess the local stage of certain breast cancers ;
  • to characterise certain abnormalities observed using mammography-ultrasound, before a biopsy might be carried out ;
  • in the context of a screening for certain risk patients (genetic mutation) ;
  • to look for possible local recurrence after a breast-conserving surgery ;
  • to check the status of a breast implant, especially if the doctor suspects a rupture.
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Specific details

  • In non-menopausal women, the MRI should ideally be carried out between the 8th and 12th day of their cycle
  • In menopausal women undergoing hormone replacement therapy, it is recommended to stop the treatment 6 to 8 weeks before the examination.

MRI is non-irradiating. Psychologically, it is sometimes an unpleasant examination due to the feeling of being confined in a small space, but this feeling is easy to overcome.

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