MRI screening for women with history of breast cancer

Women with a personal history of breast cancer should consider annual screening with MRI in addition to mammography, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

The American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines currently recommend annual screening with breast MRI in women with a known gene mutation or with a strong family history indicating a lifetime risk of breast cancer greater than 20 percent. However, the guidelines say there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against MRI screening in women who have already had breast cancer themselves.

“In our study using breast MRI screening, we actually detected proportionally more cancers in women with a personal history of breast cancer, compared with those women with a genetic mutation or strong family history who are currently recommended to have breast MRI,” said Wendy B. DeMartini, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle. “Further, women with a personal history were less likely to be recalled for additional testing and less likely to have a biopsy for a false positive MRI finding.”

“Our findings show that the diagnostic performance of MRI in patients with a personal history of treated breast cancer supports consideration of screening MRI as an adjunct to mammography,” Dr. DeMartini said. “Additional studies such as ours are necessary to establish guidelines for screening this important group of women.”

Coauthors are Grace Kalish, M.D., Sue Peacock, M.Sc., Peter Eby, M.D., Robert Gutierrez, M.D., and Constance Lehman, M.D., Ph.D.

Source:
Linda Brooks
Radiological Society of North America