Screening Breast MRI - Benefits and Risks

Benefits

  • No radiation is used during a breast MRI so there is no risk of radiation exposure.
  • Breast MRI can detect early signs of breast cancer before other breast imaging procedures.
  • MRI can detect small abnormalities not seen by other breast imaging procedures.
  • A breast MRI exam can detect if breast cancer is spreading.

Risks

  • Breast MRI is not recommended for patients who are pregnant or may be pregnant.
  • Breast MRI is not recommended for patients with epilepsy.
  • There may be other risks depending on your medical condition. Consult with your radiologist or technologist before your appointment.
  • The strong magnetic fields created during an MRI can make heart pacemakers and other implants not work as well. It can also cause a piece of metal inside your body to move or shift.
  • Breast MRI requires an injection of a contrast medium intravenously which can be a risk for women with diabetes or poor kidney function.