Your Response: Is Breast MRI Necessary?
Our series of articles on Breast MRI & APBI Patient Selection generated a great deal of response from our readers, particularly our February 2010 article featuring Michael Berry, MD, who explained
why he thinks MRI is a useful but overutilized tool.
Here’s what some of your fellow physicians had to say in response:
“I disagree with
the thought ‘all breast cancer patients get an MRI.’ Breast cancer is not
cookie cutter and unfortunately many providers are starting to practice it that
way. We’ve been utilizing MRI for 13 years at UCSD and have a
clear understanding of its benefits and problems. For the affected breast, MRI
may help us uncover those patients who years ago would have had several
lumpectomies with positive margins and eventually would have had a mastectomy.
However, I do believe MRI is leading to more bilateral mastectomies as patients
choose more aggressive surgery out of fear.”
Anne Wallace, MD
Director of UCSD Moores Cancer Center Breast Program
Professor of Clinical Surgery, UCSD
San Diego, CA
“I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Berry. My use of
MRI is roughly the same. I recently chaired a Scripps Health committee to
develop criteria for the use of MRI both as a screening and diagnostic tool. We
anticipate this will not change patterns of practice for some – but it will be
food for thought.”
Ira Levine, MD
San Diego, CA
of MRI] increases the patient’s anxiety, definitely increases the cost of the
overall treatment, and has increased the consideration of mastectomy in
patients we had traditionally cured with breast conservation…Patients rarely
have any idea of the complexity, pain and rehab associated with reconstructive
surgery…and they have an uneducated perspective that mastectomy is a more
Pollock, MD, PhD
Schiffler Cancer Center
The use of breast MRI in APBI patient selection continues to be a hot topic, so we want to hear what YOU think. Do you use MRI for a majority of your patients, or do you think it does more harm than good?