MRI is used for many reasons in breast imaging since it may be more sensitive than a mammogram in finding and characterizing breast cancer. Breast MRI is always performed in conjunction with mammography, however, not always on the same day.
Women with newly diagnosed breast cancers may sometimes undergo breast MRI to better determine the size and extent of the breast cancer. Women at high risk for developing breast carcinoma (e.g., family history or carriers of a predisposing gene) may also benefit from screening with breast MRI in conjunction with mammography screening. Earlier detection can mean less chemotherapy and breast cancer-related surgery for many women.
Breast MRI may also be used to follow women with previously diagnosed breast cancer. In addition, breast MRI may sometimes be used in women who have uncertain findings on either a mammogram or sonograph, to determine whether a biopsy is needed.