MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, an imaging technique that uses a very powerful magnetic field and radio waves to obtain highly-detailed images of organs and other tissues located throughout the body. The technique uses no x-rays; instead, the magnetic field of the MRI machine “lines up” tiny subatomic particles that comprise tissues and organs, and the MRI's special radio waves cause these particles to release signals that can be detected and captured by a very sensitive receiver inside the MRI machine. Once these signals are captured, special software is used to produce the highly-detailed images as a series of “slices” of tissue that can be viewed from any angle.
Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, what does this have to do with a breast MRI, and why is a breast MRI important?
A breast MRI can be very useful to gather information about any suspicious areas in the breast. This could include:
- A palpable mass (something you can feel by touch) that isn’t visible by other exams
- Young women tend to have dense breast tissue. MRIs can assist in seeing abnormal areas in dense tissue
- Examining underarm lymph nodes. MRI can find the precise site breast cancer origin, expanding a woman’s treatment options
- MRIs can also help to show if cancer involves more than one known area, which helps with treatment choices
- Examining both breasts after a cancer diagnosis on one breast, as advised by The American Cancer Society
- Women with silicone breast implants benefit from MRI scanning to detect implant leakage
- After surgical treatments a MRI helps to reexamine scar tissue, to check for changes or abnormalities in the tissue
Please call us today to schedule your breast MRI.