News | April 30, 2009

Debate Over MR Imaging for Surgical Management of Breast Cancer Heats Up

Monica Morrow, M.D.

April 30, 2009 - The debate over the appropriateness of using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for surgical management of breast cancer heats up among doctors.

While imaging is necessary for accurate local staging is vital for guiding breast cancer treatment to achieve clear margins and avoid recurrent disease, the question is over the use of MRI.

Christiane Kuhl, M.D., and Monica Morrow, M.D., debate the merits of breast MRI in accurate local staging and treatment guidance. Dr. Kuhl calls MRI the superior modality for detecting multicentric disease while Dr. Morrow says there is not enough evidence to justify the routine use of breast MRI.

Dr. Morrow said, "What does MRI do? It increases the cost of care due to additional imaging, biopsies for benign disease and a very high rate of short interval follow-ups in this country. What doesn't MRI do? It doesn't improve patient outcomes."

Source: Oncology News International. Vol. 18 No. 4

For more information: www.mskcc.org

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