Some women are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer than others. To find out if you are at a higher risk, please review Risk Factor information here. A woman is considered at higher risk if she has one factor that greatly increases risk, or several factors that together greatly increase risk.
If you are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer, you may need to be screened earlier and more often than other women.
Screening guidelines for women at higher risk greatly depend on which risk factors contribute to the elevated risk. There are many different screening regimes are available for women at higher risk. You will need to speak with a medical provider to determine which screening regime is right for you.
Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to create an image of the breast. Breast MRI is more invasive than mammography because a contrast agent is given by vein (through an IV) before the test.
At this time, breast MRI is mostly used in breast cancer diagnosis and staging, rather than in screening. However, breast MRI in combination with mammography is better than mammography alone at finding breast cancer in certain women at higher risk.*
Talk with your provider about breast cancer screening and use of MRI if you are at higher risk for developing breast cancer.
*Saslow D, Boetes C, Burke W, et al. for the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Advisory Group. American Cancer Society guidelines for breast screening with MRI as an adjunct to mammography. CA Cancer J Clin. 57(2):75-89, 2007. | Warner E, Messersmith H, Causer P, Eisen A, Shumak R, Plewes D. Systematic review: using magnetic resonance imaging to screen women at high risk for breast cancer. Ann Intern Med. 148(9):671-9, 2008. | Chiarelli AM, Prummel MV, Muradali D, et al. Effectiveness of screening with annual magnetic resonance imaging and mammography: results of the initial screen from the Ontario High Risk Breast Screening Program. J Clin Oncol. 32(21):2224-30, 2014.