MRI in older breast cancer patients may increase unnecessary mastectomies

08/14/2013 | U.S. News & World Report

Between 2000 and 2009, MRI use prior to breast cancer surgery surged from 1% to 25%, based on an analysis of 72,000 patients aged 67 to 94. Those who got an MRI were more likely to undergo a more aggressive form of surgery. Of the women who underwent mastectomy who had an MRI, 12.5% had both breasts removed, while about 4% of those who didn't receive an MRI had both breasts removed. The findings were published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. "There has been no randomized controlled clinical trial demonstrating improved outcomes for women who undergo preoperative breast MRI at any age," lead author Dr. Brigid Killelea said.

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