Lora Barke, DO, and colleagues from Invision Sally Jobe Breast Centers and Radiology Imaging Associates of Englewood, CO, will present research showing that there's a need to address structural, economic, and behavioral barriers to breast MRI screening before the effects of guidelines recommending this exam for high-risk women can be evaluated.
Barke's group evaluated breast cancer risk for 65,417 women who came to Invision Sally Jobe Breast Centers for screening between January 2008 and January 2009. The group assessed risk using the Gail model for women who reported a family history of cancer, recommending a screening MRI to those who had at least a 20% lifetime risk. The team then followed these women for a minimum of two months after they'd received the recommendation to determine if they had received a screening MRI. The follow-up period ended in March 2009.
Of the total cohort, screening MRI was recommended for 1,217 women, or 1.9% -- these women had a lifetime risk of breast cancer greater than 20%. Of these 1,217, only 176, or 14.5%, actually had the recommended MRI exam, Barke found.
MRI screening of women at high risk of breast cancer is rare, and there is an urgent need for new strategies to encourage women to follow through, the team concluded.