At the Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center (KCBC), we strive to offer streamlined, efficient testing that uses innovative and efficient technology. In conjunction with our mammogram and ultrasound techniques for breast diagnostics, we also use breast MRIs in order to acquire high resolution photos and detect abnormalities and disease early.
How Does a Breast MRI Work?
Specifically designed for use in breast screening and diagnostics, a breast MRI involves a specially-designed machine that provides high resolution photos while maintaining breast sensitivity and comfort. The MRI technology – or Magnetic Resonance Imaging – takes several photos of the breasts. Those photos are combined to generate detailed pictures.
MRI machines use a combination of radio and magnetic waves. A magnetic field is put around you while radio waves are directed at specific areas of your body. While the noise this machine makes may be a little uncomfortable, it is painless and typically tolerated well.
In the AURORA® Dedicated Breast MRI machine that we have in-house at KCBC, breasts are scanned simultaneously. The machine also allows for feet-first entry, which can alleviate some of the anxiety associated with getting an MRI.
Our breast MRI units are accredited by the American College of Radiology. The dedicated breast MRI unit is the only manufactured MRI unit for breast MRI screening and diagnostics. It is specifically designed so that the highest resolution is in the lower half of the magnet opening where the breasts reside during the exam.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Breast MRI?
Your physician may suggest a breast MRI or you may want to ask about one for yourself if the following are true:
- You have a high risk of breast cancer that has been defined as a lifetime risk of 20-25 percent or greater
- You have dense breast tissue, which is often difficult to accurately screen on a mammogram
- You have been diagnosed with breast cancer and the MRI is being used to determine the extent of the cancer
- A strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer is present in your personal history
- You have breast implants and there is a suspected leak or rupture present
A breast MRI may also be used after a surgical procedure or after chemotherapy to determine the body’s response.
Are There Any Risks?
As having an MRI does not expose you to radiation, this is a safe procedure. The most common things to keep in mind before having an MRI are:
- The possibility of false positives. High anxiety and fear are induced when questionable areas are found after an MRI, but upon further testing, these areas may turn out to be benign. At KCBC, our clinical breast radiologists specialize in the areas of breast diagnostics and will screen and evaluate your breast MRI using comprehensive knowledge and experience.
- An adverse reaction to the dye used. Prior to receiving a breast MRI, a non-toxic dye will be injected into your system so your soft tissues will show up better during the imaging. Allergic reactions are rare, as are complications for those with kidney disease.
Contact KCBC today to schedule a breast MRI or to inquire about our other breast diagnostic services.