Breast MRI

Also known as: Magnetic resonance imaging, breast, MRI, breast

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to make pictures of the breast. MRI may show problems in the breast that cannot be seen on an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.

The MRI records pictures that show your breast's normal structure; tissue damage or disease, such as infection; inflammation; or a lump. MRI is better than mammography or ultrasound for looking at some breast lumps.

At Providence, achieving optimal breast health and providing world-class treatment for breast cancer are equal priorities in our continuing mission to improve women’s health. Providence Breast Centers offer comprehensive access to state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging techniques to ensure accurate and timely diagnoses.

Ask An Expert

Ask an Expert: MRI screening for breast cancer

Q: Are MRI's better than mammograms for detecting breast cancer? Should I be asking my doctor for an MRI with my annual exam?

Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:

Ask an Expert: When is nipple discharge a concern?

Q: “I am concerned about some discharge from one of my breasts. If I squeeze the nipple, I get a dark greenish fluid. Sometimes it also occurs spontaneously. I mentioned this during my last physical exam, but my mammogram appeared to be OK. Should I do anything else, or just wait for my next mammogram? If it’s nothing to be concerned about, what is causing it?”

Forms Instructions

MRI Screening for Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer

Women at high risk of developing breast cancer should receive an annual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, in addition to their yearly mammogram, beginning as early as age 30, according to guidelines published by the American Cancer Society.

Recommended Resource

American Cancer Society Guidelines for Breast Screening with MRI as an Adjunct to Mammography

New evidence on breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening has become available since the American Cancer Society (ACS) last issued guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer in 2003. A guideline panel has reviewed this evidence and developed new recommendations for women at different defined levels of risk.

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society’s home page with links to all types of cancer, symptoms, treatment options, statistics trials and ways to contribute.