Study: Biannual MRIs recommended for women at high risk of breast cancer

DENVER -- New research shows women with a high risk of developing breast cancer should consider more than just mammograms for early detection.

The study, published by the American Association for Cancer Research, shows women with certain genes should be screened twice a year using MRIs.

The research does not mean women should no longer get annual mammograms. But for a certain group of women, MRI screening is helping save lives.

The study reveals MRIs were able to catch 88.2 percent of cancers for many high-risk women. Yearly mammograms caught 41.2 percent, according to the study.

“It sheds light on the fact that not all women are the same.,” said Dr. Lora Barke with Invision Sally Jobe Breast Centers

Barke says women at age 30 need to be accessed to determine what kind of screening is best.

“Mammography is for everyone,” she said. “Then, what can we add to that -- sometimes it’s MRI and sometimes it’s screening breast ultrasound.”

The study recommends women -- who are at high risk or battling a recurrence -- should be screened twice a year with MRIs.

The research aims to better monitor women with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes. Those genetics increase the risk of being diagnosed with aggressive breast cancers.

“I think if they can find different diagnostic tools, that are one more effective and can catch breast cancer early, it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Denver-area breast cancer survivor Lindsay Fryer.

The study focused on 295 high-risk women for aggressive breast cancer. They were followed for at least a year.

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