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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #1 
Catching cancer in women
                               

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) alternated with mammography at six-month intervals can detect breast cancers not identified by mammography alone, a research team from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center reported at the 31st CRTC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 13.

MRI is known to be more sensitive in detecting breast cancers than mammography, with a 71 - 100 percent accuracy compared to a 16 - 40 percent accuracy for mammography.
“In the high-risk population, the recent standard of practice is to perform mammography and MRI every year,” said Huong Le-Petross, M.D., assistant professor of diagnostic radiology at M. D. Anderson and the study’s first author.

“What we started to do at M. D. Anderson was to see if we could do mammography and then six months later do a breast MRI exam, followed six months later with a mammogram exam, and then six months after that with a breast MRI. That way the women would receive an imaging modality screening every six months.”

In the pilot study, to be presented at a poster session on Dec. 13, the researchers performed a retrospective chart review of 334 women who had participated in a high-risk breast cancer-screening programme at M. D. Anderson from January 1997 to December 2007.

The women had undergone between one and four MRI screening cycles and were considered to be at high risk if they had hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, a personal history of breast cancer, a biopsy indicating atypia or lobular carcinoma in situ, or a 20 percent or higher lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, as estimated by the Gail model.

In the all-M. D. Anderson study, 86 of the 334 high-risk women (26 percent) underwent this alternating approach. Among this group, 46 percent completed the first round of MRI screening, 28 percent completed the second round, 13 percent completed the third round, and 4 percent completed the fourth round.

The other 248 women underwent prophylactic mastectomy or were started on chemoprevention agents. All study participants were given a clinical breast exam every six months. The median follow-up time was 2 years, with a range of one to four years).

The alternating MRI and mammography screening programme detected nine cancers among the 86 women-five invasive ductal carcinomas, three invasive lobular carcinoma, and two ductal carcinomas in situ.

Five (55 percent) of these cancers were identified by MRI but not by mammography, three (33 percent) were found by both MRI and mammography, and one (11 percent) cancer, a tumor one millimeter in size, was overlooked by both screening techniques. No cancer was detected by mammography alone.


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Indigoblue

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Gina,
Thank you for this information!!!  My sister had an MRI a couple of days ago, and with our family history; she has calcifications, and a suspicious lesion in her breast.  She was so freaked by the MRI, she never wants to "go through that again". 

I mentioned to her that I love the MRI opposed to the Mammogram, as it's much easier and more reliable in many ways; however the digital mammograms cannot be replaced; and the ultrasound is without a doubt another accurate and informative way to identify a malignant tumor.  When my suspicious lesion was seen by mammogram and ultrasound after I discovered the lump by SBE, a mammotome biopsy was immediately performed.  I've always thought, perhaps; it was likely the reason cancer micro-cells were found in the circulatory blood cells surround the tumor bed. 

I wonder, had I waited and gone to a surgeon, had both breasts removed, would they have found micro-metastasis, or lurking cells present in the area around the tumor.  The four lymph nodes taken were negative for the presence of cancer.  It's a confusing and troubling saga of what, why, and how come?. 

Thank you for this information; I will read it to my sister ASAP.

Love,
Indi

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Reply with quote  #3 
 Gina ,
Thanks for this. I hope it becomes protocol for everyone to have this schedule. That Is what I am on now but had to fight the insurance co. for it. If I didn't know what I know I never would have been so determined and pushed for it.
Lv& Hgs,
Carrie

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BMD

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Reply with quote  #4 

Count me as one with no detection on mammo but 2.5 cm on MRI.


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zschweeb

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Reply with quote  #5 
going for my 6 month follow up with mammo /mri on thursday...after my original dx my breast surgeon was still unable to feel any of my three tumors even knowing exactly where everything was after haveing both tests done to dx....very grateful for all technology


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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #6 
GOOD LUCK SUSAN!!!

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SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #7 
Two years ago I tried to do the breast MRI and couldn't get through it.  Please tell me that they've changed how they do them now!  I really wholeheartedly believe that breast MRIs would detect more cancers, and from the above statistics it is encouraging.

Don't read the following if you don't want to want to have TMI.  It is not my intention to whine or scare anyone. 

I was on my stomach with something hard and rigid pressing into my ribcage, while my face was resting in a large hole covered with a towel.  I almost passed out from not being able to breathe, and also breathing in the same air.  I had the technician stop the MRI 10 minutes into it.  It truly was horrible, and I have had a number of other lengthy full body MRIs to know that it doesn't have to be that uncomfortable.  I know there are many others who have made it through just fine.  That seems to be the case with many procedures, so please keep that in mind while you are reading this!

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MicheleS

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Reply with quote  #8 
Add me to the grp.  My presurgical MRI revealed a second primary in the same breast that the mammogram didn't see.  It was 7mm and DCIS so it didn't change the chemo.  However, it did take lumpectomy "off the table" so to speak for me for my invasive tumor.  I had to have a mastectomy (which, in retrospect, was a good thing... I'm planning a mastectomy of my non-affected boob at recon... might as well match!!!).
nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #9 
Sapphire
What the heck was poking you in the rib cage? It sounds like they had not set up the machine right. While I don't like getting MRIs, breast MRIs seem easier to me than the others.
I have to get another one soon, so I will report back to you and see if they have improved them at all.

Michele, you are so right. It is the best way to get a "matched set"!


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SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #10 

Gina, I will be very curious to hear what you have to say after you've had the upcoming MRI.

There just seemed to be a rigid line pressing into my ribcage.  I am not even sure what was there that would have caused that.  I kind of also didn't like that my back seemed to be curved upward, which is kind of an unnatural position.  Pair that with breathing in my own air repeatedly for the entire time, and it was a recipe for disaster for me. 

I guess I am just used to lying on my back to have an MRI with fresh air blowing over my face.  Isn't it funny the way we all interpret our experiences.....what is good for one person may not be for another.


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csp

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Reply with quote  #11 
Sapphire,
That stupid harness thing or what ever it is, is the most
uncomfortable thing. It digs into my ribs too.
They did have a fan blowing which helped with the breathing I have asthma and found it difficult too.

Hgs,
Carrie

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courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day
saying.. i will try again tomorrow.
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CherylG

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Reply with quote  #12 
I saw Christina Applegate in an interview last night. She advocated MRI as a preferred screenining tool. She said she pushed for the MRI and was glad she did because this is what found her BC at a very early stage.

I had a yearly mammo and when my surgeon told me my cancer was 8 years old he floored me. He said "honey is you would have had a MRI back then we never would have met"

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #13 
Sapphire, I had the breast mri today. It was almost two hours long- (don't ask!)
And they have changed the machine. NOW it hurts just like you said!
I had this thing in my sternum and it was killing me. I am very tender there because of radiation and I think that is why.

Carrie, you get a harness with yours??

Cheryl, your doc knew your cancer was 8 years old???
The things these guys come out with!


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csp

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Reply with quote  #14 

Gina I don't know what to call that stupid plastic thing that they put on top of the MRI table? it raises the top portion of you body off the table and you put you boobs in the holes it has handles on the sides.
they use strips of foam to try and cushion the edges and put a pillow under my pelvic area and knees to try and take pressure off my ribs. I asked why the heck don't they make a table for this type of MRI. The tech said because breast MRI's are relatively new. Yeesh!!

It looks a lot like this one except this one in the picture looks like it offers more support for the lower half of your body..



What I wish it was like...

I have to lay with my arms outstretched over my head so I can't take any pressure off my ribs in that position.
Can I have some cheese with my whine.


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courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day
saying.. i will try again tomorrow.
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Karen1956

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Reply with quote  #15 

Maybe I was just lucky, but when I had my breast MRI during the Dx stage it did not hurt.. maybe a little uncomfortable but not painful.  My boobs did go through some hole thingy so I was on my stomach....they did it without contrast and then with contrast.  I was told to be as still as possible.  As I was on my stomach, I turned my head sideways and rested my head on my arms...I was able to relax and doze a bit....I went to work after the MRI...I forget how long it took....but it wasn't 2 hours...but it was 3 years ago and my memory is not what it used to be...I do hope that yours is not painful.  I have not been told to have one since recon...the last fix was only 9 1/2 months ago...actually I have not asked the PS about follow up tests to check on the implants....I have just made it to 6 month intervals for visits...I'm sure PS is happy to not see me so often!!!!

SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #16 

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I will now have to suck it up and do this type of MRI since I am a two-timer.  Will try Karen's trick about turning your head to the side......duh!.....the first time the technician told me to stick my face in the hole, so I didn't dispute it and I should have.  I will also ask for a little more padding under my ribcage so I don't stop breathing!! 


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"There are only two ways to live your life.
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The other is as if everything is."

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csp

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Reply with quote  #17 
Saphire,
I'm waiting for my oncs office to call for the date of my
MRI too. Hope they have found some new tricks to make it
more comfy. I'm going to try and turn my head to the side too and put my arms under my head .
Hugs,
Carrie

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courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day
saying.. i will try again tomorrow.
~maryanne radmacher
SapphireSky

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hope your MRI goes well, Carrie.....and I am keeping my fingers crossed that you don't have a lot of discomfort with it.  Let me know how it goes (turning your head to the side, etc.)!!

{Hugs}

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"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is."

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CherylG

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Reply with quote  #19 

GINA... yep, my surgeon told me that had my pcp sent me for an MRI 8 years before I would have just had a lumpectomy without chemo and radiation! I hope that alternating protocol becomes the standard.

CARRIE.. hope your MRI goes well

SAPPHIRE ... putting your arms under your head and turning to the side really does help

KAREN ... when do we go to 6 month visits? I see onc and rads onc alternately every 3 moths still and it is going on 4 years for me

Cheryl


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csp

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hi all,
I had my breast MRI w/contrast and it was not the most comfortable thing I did all day. I did take my big band CD's with me and they played them  the whole time. I couldn't put my arms under my head because I had the IV in my arm and they didn't want me to bend that arm, and when I turned my head  to the side some how I was not positioned properly. The techs were very nice and tried their best to make me comfortable as possible.
I just closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on the music.
So as they slid me in Begin the Beguine and Sentimental Journey were playing away, so I wasn't alone.. Artie Shaw , Tommy Dorsey and Glen Miller kept me company.  I guess short little round people like me just aren't going to be comfy ! I don't know how long I was in old Thumper but husband said I was back there for an hour and 45 minutes.

Hgs,
Carrie

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courage does not always roar. sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day
saying.. i will try again tomorrow.
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