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MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Breast:


MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the structures within the breast. This is used to detect breast cancer and other abnormalities in the breast. 


When Is It Required?


MRI breast does not replace mammography or ultrasound imaging. It is not required in all women diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a supplemental tool / problem-solving tool.  It is used
 

  • To determine the extent of cancer in a newly diagnosed patient: To know the size of cancer and the structures that are involved. If there are other cancers in the same breast or unsuspected cancer in the other breast. It is also helpful to evaluate if any enlarged glands are present in the armpit.

  • To Screen for breast Cancer in High-risk women: A Screening MRI is recommended along with a yearly mammogram. 

  • Further evaluation of abnormalities on mammography:  That is in a difficult position to assess further or in a difficult position to biopsy. MRI can be used to determine if the abnormality needs a biopsy or can be safely be left alone. 

  • Evaluating the lumpectomy site following breast cancer treatment: Scarring and recurrent cancer can look identical on mammography and ultrasound. If any change at the lumpectomy site on mammogram or physical examination is concerning, MRI can help to differentiate between the scar and cancer recurrence.

  • To evaluate the tumour response to chemotherapy: Sometimes breast cancer is treated with chemotherapy before surgery. This is called Neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In these patients, MRI is used to monitor how well the chemo is working and to assess the amount of tumour still present prior to surgery.

  • Evaluating breast implants:  MRI is the test of choice to assess implant integrity. 

 

Preparation Required:


Unless you are told otherwise, take your medicines and light food as usual.


Schedule MRI at the beginning of your menstrual cycle: In premenopausal women, contrast MRI for screening is preferably performed during the 2nd week of the menstrual cycle (7-14days). This is to avoid potential false-positive results. For diagnostic purpose, this is not applied and MRI scheduling should not substantially delay therapy planning. Looking for MRI scan in Bangalore? Consult the best imaging breast cancer hospital near you.


Get a Kidney function test done: All most all breast MRI examinations require an injection of contrast material, called gadolinium. The chances of an allergic reaction to gadolinium is very minimal, however, a normal kidney function is a prerequisite prior to the administration of the contrast. A blood test to check kidney function is required for a contrast study. Inform the technologist if you have any health problems or had any surgeries. 


Tell the doctor if you are pregnant: Women should inform if there is a chance they could be pregnant. To date, there is no information indicating that MRI is harmful to an unborn child. However, MRI is generally not done in 1st trimester as the baby will be exposed to a strong magnetic field. Pregnant women should not receive gadolinium contrast unless absolutely necessary.  


Tell the doctor if you are nursing a baby: Because only a very small percentage of gadolinium is excreted into the breast milk and absorbed by infants gut, it is concluded from available data that, it is safe to continue breastfeeding after a contrast study (ACR Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media, 2020). However, if you are concerned, stop breastfeeding for 12-24hrs after MRI during which time, the body will eliminate the dye. 


Antianxiety medication: If the patient is claustrophobic or anxious, they may consider taking mild sedative from their doctor prior to examination.


Don’t wear anything metallic during the MRI: Patient is required to change into hospital gown and bra should be removed.  Any metal objects like hair clips, jewellery, dental work and body piercings to be removed. Metal and electronic items interfere with the magnetic field. They can cause burns or become harmful projectiles in the scanning room. 


Inform the technician about any previous surgeries and metal implants or electronic devices in the body:   MRI is safe in the majority of the times. However, people with some implants such as the defibrillator, pacemaker, cochlear implant etc should not enter MRI scanning without being evaluated first. 


MRI Equipment and the Procedure: 


It is a tunnel cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. Dedicated breast coils are essential to perform breast MRI.


Hospital admission is not required for this examination. Women will be positioned prone on a moveable table. You will be asked to lie on your belly with the face down on a padded framework specially planned for the procedure.  Dedicated breast coils are mandatory and the breasts are placed in the recess of the coil. A female technologist will assist to position you. It is very important to remain still throughout the exam. This can only be achieved by making sure you are comfortable and relaxed.  A needle/ cannula will be placed in the arm to administer contrast into the vein. Once you are adequately positioned with the cannula in the arm, you will be placed into the MRI unit. 


The examination will be performed with the technologist working on the computer outside the room. You can speak to the technologist through a microphone. Once the exam is complete, you may be asked to wait, while technologist checks the images in case more are needed. The IV line will be removed after the exam is over.  The examination will last for about 40 – 45 mins


What to Expect During the Procedure


The MRI examination is painless. It is of paramount importance that you keep still during the examination. One may find it difficult to keep still. Others may feel claustrophobic. The scanner can be relatively noisy and this can be reduced by earplugs or headphones. 


Looking for breast imaging near you and MRI scan cost in Bangalore. Don't worry we have got you covered. Manipal Hospitals, Old Aiport Road provide MRI for breast cancer screening also called breast cancer ultrasound in common terms.


You may resume your usual activities and normal diet immediately after the exam

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