MRI not needed in breast screening

breast cancer awareness 300x164 MRI not needed in breast screeningInspite of the growing awareness about breast cancer, the myths surrounding breast cancer are worrisome. One of the most common myths is that routine breast screening for women of all age groups is a must. On the contrary, breast screening is effective only in women above the age of 40.
It is also a myth that mammography is 100 per cent accurate in detecting breast cancer. The fact is mammograms are the most efficient way of detecting breast cancer early. Like other screening tests, they are not perfect. The accuracy of mammography is around 85 per cent, since it is very difficult to see certain cancers even through a mammogram and in some cases they cannot be seen at all.
Another common myth is that breast feeding prevents cancer. However, it only reduces the risk.
An MRI of the breast is not recommended for a routine breast screening, it is very useful in evaluating women with breast implants. This is because the accuracy of mammography and ultrasound is limited by the presence of implants. After an earlier breast cancer surgery, there may be ambiguity surrounding a mammogram or ultrasound, which is why an MRI is more useful. Also, in young women with a very high risk of developing breast cancer, MRI may be considered as an option for breast screening.
A breast self examination (BSE) conducted on a monthly basis by a woman is recommended. Being breast aware is about becoming familiar with the breasts and the way they change throughout a woman’s life. It helps a woman identify how her breasts look and feel normally and any change may be noticed immediately. While there is no set way to examine your breast, one thing is important — to feel all parts of the breast, from high up on front of the chest, down and around into your armpit.

Breast awareness 5-point code
* Know what is normal for you.
* Know what changes to look and feel for.
* Look and feel.
* Report any changes to your doctor without delay.
* Have mammogram (X- ray of the breast) every year if you are aged 40 and above.

The writer is the director, KIMS-USHALAKSHMI Centre for Breast Diseases, Hyderabad

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: