ACS advocates breast MR screening for high-risk women

Women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer, and/or those with a family history of the disease, should undergo annual MR screening along with routine mammograms, according to a new guideline released by the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Published in the March/April 2007 CA: A Cancer Journal of Clinicians, the guideline specifies that only women who meet the following criteria should have the additional MR exam:

  • Those who are BRCA mutation carriers
  • Women with first-degree relatives who are BRCA mutation carriers
  • Women with a 20% to 25% lifetime risk of breast cancer based on family history
  • Women who had radiation treatment to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30
  • Women with Li-Fraumeni, Cowden, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndromes

The guideline does not recommend MR for women at average risk, those with very dense breasts, or those who already have had breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The ACS Breast Cancer Advisory Group said there is not enough evidence to support MR in this population because of the modality's tendency toward false-positive results.

Regarding the age at which screening should begin, the guideline states that for high-risk women screening with MRI and mammography should begin at age 30 and continue for as long as the woman is in good health.

Click here to obtain a copy of the new guideline.

By staff writers
March 28, 2007

Related Reading

MRI useful for detecting cancer in contralateral breast, March 28, 2007

Breast MR shows exceptional sensitivity for spotting DCIS, January 12, 2007

Copyright © 2007

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