At Advanced Imaging Centers, we strive to put our patients, and their needs, as the most important part of what makes us a great diagnostic imaging center. Part of putting the patients first is clarifying any questions that they may have, or explaining something so that it is crystal clear to the patient. A commonly confused topic is always being brought to our attention, that topic being, What’s the difference between a mammogram and a breast MRI? Patients who are looking for an imaging procedure to detect breast cancer always ask which one is better suited for them. Let’s clarify the distinction between these two procedures.
Both a mammogram and a breast MRI are used to take in depth images of the breast and the breast tissue, to see if there are any tumors or growths. A mammogram is the standard procedure for when getting imaging done on the breasts. Most doctors who are looking for breast cancer recommend their patients get mammograms. A breast MRI, however, is used in special circumstances such as, if the patient has implants, there is a genetically mutated cell, or if the mammogram showed something that wasn’t clear enough to see.
With this, a breast MRI usually is more susceptible to false positives because the MRI machine is more sensitive. Meaning, it can show benign tumors or growths that actually have no danger to the patient whatsoever. So just remember, a mammogram should be used for routine breast screenings, only in the event of a special circumstance should a breast MRI be done.