Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates highly detailed images of your breast tissue using a powerful magnet and a computer. This technology at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula helps detect or diagnose breast cancer.
Rely on our professional staff to follow guidelines to protect your safety and deliver accurate results. That’s because Community Hospital is accredited in breast MRI by the American College of Radiology.
Why do I need breast MRI?
Doctors can use breast MRI in several ways.
If we identify you’re at high risk for breast cancer, we may recommend you get an MRI each year in addition to a mammogram. Together, these tests can find the disease as early as possible, when treatment works best.
MRI can also help doctors diagnose a breast condition after:
- Screening test shows something unusual, or
- You experience breast cancer symptoms, such as a lump, skin or nipple changes, or swollen tissue near your armpits
This technology may guide a breast biopsy, which takes a small sample of cells to examine in a lab.
Planning cancer treatment
If you’ve received a diagnosis of cancer, your care team may order breast MRI to get a clearer look at your tumor and help guide cancer treatment.
What to expect during breast MRI
Before some breast MRI exams, a technician inserts an intravenous (IV) line into your arm or hand. This lets the health professional inject a contrast dye that helps your breast tissue show up better on images.
You’ll lie face down on a table with an opening for your breasts. Two plates will gently compress them.
Then, the table will move into the MRI tunnel so the machine can take pictures of both breasts. Your entire imaging session will last about 30 to 40 minutes.
Helping you stay comfortable
If you have trouble staying in one position for a long time or get anxious in small spaces, talk to your doctor before scheduling your breast MRI. You may get a prescription for a sedative to help you relax during the exam.
Your test results
After a screening MRI, test results will appear in MyChart within 24 to 72 hours. If you don’t have a patient portal account, you’ll get a letter in the mail within a week of your test with instructions on how to set up your account.