Community practices not following guidelines for MRI breast cancer screening

December 7, 2017, Springer

Guidelines are not being followed to ensure that breast cancer screening of high risk women, such as those with a strong family history of breast cancer, includes an additional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. According to Deirdre A. Hill of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in the US, this signals a missed opportunity to use technology that can help detect breast cancer early in high-risk groups. She led a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Since the first guidelines were issued in 2007, MRI is increasingly used to further screen for the signs of breast after mammography. The American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging all recommend these to women who have a 20 percent or more chance of contracting the disease. The use of MRI scans for women in this high-risk group has led to better detection rates compared to when mammograms are used alone.

Data were analyzed from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), a breast imaging network that collects information on risk factors, imaging and, cancer diagnoses including pathology of women who are screened. Among the 348,955 women in five regional BCSC regional registries who received mammograms, 1499 also underwent MRI scanning. Hill's team considered the chances of a woman receiving MRIs together with factors such as her family history of breast cancer and other factors.

The study's findings show that screening MRI in community settings is not used according to current professional guidelines. Approximately 82,9 percent of screening MRIs were done on women who did not meet the professional guidelines. Of these women, 35,5 percent fell in the low to average risk group. In contrast, only a fraction of the women who met professional guidelines for additional screening MRI received this service.

"Our data suggest that women with less than 20 percent lifetime risk based on , but who have high breast density, atypia, or abnormal cell growth called lobular carcinoma in situ undergo MRI at many times the rate of other women, although the harms and benefits in this population are uncertain and the cost-benefit ratio may exceed established benchmarks," Hill explains. "Such women may not be at substantially increased risk of cancers missed by mammography and thus may not be the groups in greatest need or who would receive the greatest potential benefit of screening MRI."

"Breast MRI use that is not concordant with guidelines, as documented in this study, poses distinct challenges to effective resource allocation in screening," Hill adds.

Explore further: Abbreviated breast MRI may be additional screening option for dense breasts

More information: Deirdre A. Hill et al, Utilization of breast cancer screening with magnetic resonance imaging in community practice, Journal of General Internal Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s11606-017-4224-6

Related Stories

Abbreviated breast MRI may be additional screening option for dense breasts

November 28, 2017
Among women with dense breast tissue, for whom traditional mammograms are less effective at detecting cancer, who request additional screening after a negative mammogram, abbreviated breast MRI (AB-MR) may be a valuable cancer ...

What to know if breast cancer runs in your family

October 7, 2014
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in women. A woman's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 12 percent (1 of every 8 women). Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives ...

Breast density and risk may be useful for guiding mammography screening frequency

August 22, 2016
Women between the ages of 50 and 74 may benefit from more or less frequent mammography screening than is generally recommended, depending on breast density and risk. For average-risk women with lower breast density, which ...

Screening MRI benefits women at average risk of breast cancer

February 21, 2017
MRI screening improves early diagnosis of breast cancer in all women-not only those at high risk-according to a new study from Germany published online in the journal Radiology.

Expert explains the latest guidelines for mammograms

January 20, 2016
The USPSTF has issued another set of recommendations for breast cancer screening. What are they?

About half of women may benefit from mammograms at 40: analysis

April 14, 2016
(HealthDay)—New research suggests that all women turning 40 should get a breast cancer risk assessment, since half of them may have risks that are high enough to warrant annual mammograms right away.

Recommended for you

Function of neutrophils during tumor progression unraveled

October 15, 2018
Researchers at The Wistar Institute have characterized the function of neutrophils, a type of white blood cells, during early stages of tumor progression, showing that they migrate from the bone marrow to distant sites and ...

Delving where few others have gone, leukemia researchers open new path

October 15, 2018
A Wilmot Cancer Institute study uncovers how a single gene could be at fault in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), one of the deadliest cancers. The breakthrough gives researchers renewed hope that a gene-targeted therapy could ...

3-D mammography detected 34% more breast cancers in screening

October 15, 2018
In traditional mammography screening, all breast tissue is captured in a single image. Breast tomosynthesis, on the other hand, is three-dimensional and works according to the same principle as what is known as tomography. ...

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer

October 15, 2018
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process—changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding—uses a molecular process believed ...

Cancer stem cells use 'normal' genes in abnormal ways

October 12, 2018
CDK1 is a "normal" protein—its presence drives cells through the cycle of replication. And MHC Class I molecules are "normal" as well—they present bits of proteins on the surfaces of cells for examination by the immune ...

Obesity linked to increased risk of early-onset colorectal cancer

October 12, 2018
Women who are overweight or obese have up to twice the risk of developing colorectal cancer before age 50 as women who have what is considered a normal body mass index (BMI), according to new research led by Washington University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.