Breast cancer represents 25% of cases of cancer among women. Here at RMC, we believe in early detection and protection screenings, which is why we just invested in the lasted breast MRI technology. Starting in March 2021, we began offering the only breast MRI capabilities across five counties in Northeast Alabama.
If you are over 50 and at high-risk for breast cancer, don’t wait. Read information on breast MRIs below and schedule your appointment today at 256-235-5169. You must have a referral before scheduling your breast MRI.
What is a Breast MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the breast creates a detailed image of breast tissue by combining many images. It is a useful tool for the detection and characterization of breast disease, assessment of the disease extent, evaluation of treatment response, and guidance or biopsy localization.
Who should get a Breast MRI?
Breast MRIs are usually performed if you have had a positive biopsy for cancer or present a high risk for developing breast cancer.
High risk patients include those with a genetic predisposition for cancer, someone who’s previously had breast cancer, or an individual with a history of mantle radiation for Hodgkin Lymphoma. Those high-risk patients may be referred for annual screening breast MRI in addition to mammography and risk assessment counseling.
Breast MRIs do not directly reduce rates of mortality in breast cancer patients but do increase the chance of early detection and intervention in high-risk patients.
Annual screening breast MRIs are recommended for women with a personal history of breast cancer and dense tissue for those diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50. Find more resources for Cancer Care at RMC here.
How to Schedule
After obtaining a physician referral, please contact Daniela Headrick at 256-235-5169. Once your appointment is made, your scan will be on the second floor of the Tyler Center in Imaging Services.
What to Expect
If you’re scheduled for a breast MRI at the Tyler Center, please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment. Imaging services are located on the second floor.
No fasting or special attire required. You will be given a gown to change into once you arrive. Lab work will be taken, and you’ll be prepped with an IV before the exam starts.
The MRI machine has a large, central opening. During the breast MRI, you lie facedown on a padded scanning table. Your breasts fit into a hollow depression in the table, which contains coils that detect magnetic signals from the MRI machine. The entire table then slides into the opening of the machine.
Notify your physician if you:
- Most MRI procedures use a dye to make the images easier to interpret.
- The dye is usually given through a vein in your arm.
- Let your doctor know about any allergies to avoid complications with the dye.
Have a Kidney Problem
- A dye commonly used to enhance MRI images called gadolinium can cause serious complications in people with kidney problems. Let your doctor know if you have a history of kidney problems.
Have implanted medical devices
- If you have an implanted medical device, such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, implanted drug port or artificial joint, let your doctor know before your MRI.Are Pregnant
Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
- If you’re nursing, your doctor may recommend that you stop for two days after your MRI. The American College of Radiology states that the risk to your baby from the contrast dye is extremely low.
- If you’re concerned, stop breast-feeding for 12 to 24 hours after the MRI, which will give your body time to eliminate the contrast dye. You may pump and discard your milk during this period.
- Before the procedure, you can pump and store milk to feed your baby.
Do NOT wear metallic objects, such as jewelry, hairpins or watches, which can be damaged during an MRI.
From there, our MRI Technicians will monitor your scan from the other room and will talk you through the entire process over a microphone, which you can respond to as needed. The scan will take approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
Questions? Please contact us at 256-235-5169.
Information for Referring Physicians
An industry-leading Breast MRI system, Phillips DynaCad Breast, has arrived at the Tyler Center at RMC. Paired with our newest 3T MRI and Sentinelle 16 Channel Breast Coil, you’ll get high resolution images and high-speed processing every time. Schedule your patient’s scan today to experience:
Enhanced imaging workflow provides a large, flexible workspace with custom hanging protocols, viewing capabilities, and configurable work lists for easy study management.
MRI Guided Biopsy
Our system provides visual guidance for planning of breast biopsy procedures from the initial setup of equipment to the confirmation of targets.