Statistically, every tenth woman in Germany develops breast cancer. With approximately 50,000 new cases diagnosed every year, this is by far the most frequent tumour disease among women, with the trend unfortunately still rising. However, thanks to substantial improvements in screening quality, breast cancer mortality has been significantly reduced today.
Regular mammography examinations by proven specialists are the prerequisite for this. Because the sooner the breast cancer is detected, the better the chance of cure.
Who should have a check-up?
Women from the age of 40 should have an examination every two years. If certain risk factors are present, then annual mammograms are recommended.
The risk of breast cancer is higher:
- for women, whose sisters, mothers or grandmothers suffered from breast cancer
- due to hormonal factors, which lead to an early first menstrual period and late onset of the menopause
- for the overweight as well as those with high meat and alcohol consumption
- for smokers
How is the examination carried out?
Examination by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) An examination of the breast in MRI is not a routine procedure. It can be useful for instance after an x-ray mammography or an ultrasound examination (sonography) with unclear results. Suspicious changes in very dense glandular tissue for example can be traced more clearly and reliably than in an x-ray examination. For this reason we additionally carry out a breast MRI in the magnetic resonance imaging scanner in individual cases. Recent studies recommend a regular, supplementary MRI for high-risk patients. This examination is also the method of choice for women with breast implants. Our modern open MRI system (Panorama Open) provides reliable results with a field strength of 1 Tesla.
The statutory health insurance companies do not always accept the costs for this examination
What is the procedure for the examination?
The examination takes place in the prone position, with the breasts comfortably placed in a special, cupped surface. The examination takes approximately 30 minutes. You should remain as still as possible during this time so that the images are not blurred. For the examination, a contrast agent is injected into the crook of your arm or the back of your hand. This is necessary in order to distinguish between benign or malignant tissue changes. For women with a regular menstrual period, MR mammography should be carried out during the first half of the menstrual cycle (4th – 14th day of the cycle).
When is an ultrasound breast scan advisable? An ultrasound breast scan, the so-called mammosonography, can provide important additional diagnostic information. The breasts are gently scanned by high frequency transducers. This radiation-free method is particularly useful for scanning younger women with dense glandular tissue. It is especially good for differentiating between solid or fluid-filled lumps (so-called cysts). This is however usually insufficient to exclude a suspected tumour disease. Mammosonography is not offered at the MRT Akademie.
An examination of the breast in MRI is not a routine procedure. It can be useful for instance after an x-ray mammography or an ultrasound examination (sonography) with unclear results. Recent studies recommend a regular, supplementary MRI for high-risk patients. This examination is also the method of choice for women with breast implants.