October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and every year we're reminded that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. But recently, we've also been getting some good news: The breast cancer death rate has been declining since More women are surviving — not only because of advances in treatment, but also because the disease is detected early, while it can still be cured.
In JulyGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo signed new legislation to help more women get breast cancer screening and diagnostic imaging, if needed. The legislation prohibits insurers in New York from requiring cost-sharing for women who get these services.
This year-old woman had cancer in her left breast a few years ago, and was treated with a left lumpectomy and radiation therapy. Her doctor agreed, and gave her a prescription for the test. She then asked if her own mother and daughter would be approved for breast MRI since they both now had a family history of breast cancer her!
Now that you know your real risk factors, it's time to take action. Your screening should be based on your unique combination of risk factors. The following section explains what options you may have depending on your risk factors. It is important to remember that none of these screening options should replace a mammogram.
MRI scans are usually done on an outpatient basis in a hospital or clinic. Your breasts will hang down into an opening in the table so they can be scanned without being compressed. The technologist may use pillows to make you comfortable and help keep you from moving.
Breast MRI has become an accepted screening tool for high-risk women, especially since the American Cancer Society ACS gave the technology a vote of confidence in by adding it to its breast cancer screening guidelines. But many payors appear to be dragging their feet when it comes to paying for breast MRI exams. Reimbursement for breast MRI screening varies by insurance provider, individual insurance policy, geographic location, and not infrequently, the lack of understanding of the diagnostic value of the procedure by an employee of a third-party radiology benefits management company.
If you're a woman older than 40, you're probably familiar with mammography and ultrasound examinations for breast cancer screening. But a certain percentage of women — those at a high risk of breast cancer — may have an additional MRI screening. More aggressive lesions tend to have more blood flow.
The Ontario Breast Screening Program OBSP screens women ages 30 to 69 who are confirmed to be at high risk of developing breast cancer, once a year with a mammogram and breast magnetic resonance imaging MRI or screening breast ultrasound if MRI is not medically appropriate. This kind of testing is based on scientific evidence and ensures that high risk women receive the benefits of organized screening. Ontario women ages 30 to 69 can get screened through the High Risk OBSP if they have a referral from their doctor, a valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan number, no acute breast symptoms, and fall into one of the following risk categories:.
Breast MRI is not recommended as a routine screening tool for all women. If you are considered high-risk, you would have breast MRI in addition to your annual mammograms X-rays of the breast. Breast MRI is not a perfect tool.
We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. The next time you go for a routine breast cancer screening, you may find that your clinic offers you a range of options, including the standard mammogram, a 3D mammogram, an ultrasound, or even a breast MRI.