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Many Women at Risk for Breast Cancer Say 'No Thanks' to MR

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | December 23, 2009

"It helps with claustrophobia, but it hurts image quality," she says.

"The problem with Open MRI is we get less signal and more noise. We don't get quite as detailed an image of the breasts. It's not terrible but it's not considered adequate."

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The solution, in fact, might lie less with technology, and more with a personal touch. Dr. Berg says there was wide variation in participation rates at different health centers, and at the University of Toronto and her site, participation was high, at over 70 percent.

Presenting the information clearly is important, Dr. Berg says. "We do a lot of screening with MR. We know the issues and can discuss them with our patients."

Still, she recognizes that MR doesn't appear to be acceptable to many women, which is why she thinks the health care community should also work toward making ultrasound screening more available.

"It should prompt us to be more motivated to offer screening ultrasounds, because it's something in limited capacity nationwide and it's a major step forward beyond mammography, albeit not as sensitive as MR," she says.

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