Does Your Patient Need Supplemental Screening for Breast Cancer
January 22, 2018
New low-cost, self-pay option at UH targets women with dense breasts
Half of all American women have dense breasts. Because increased breast density both lowers the sensitivity of mammography and increases the risk of developing breast cancer, dense-breasted women may benefit from supplemental screenings to detect cancers that may not be visible on their mammogram.
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is now offering this supplemental screening as a low-cost, self-pay option. Fast breast MRI is available for $250 at certain UH locations (see below). MRI is the most sensitive tool for detecting breast cancer, even after a negative mammogram.
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While the conventional breast MRI study (45 minutes) is tailored for women with a very high risk for developing breast cancer (such as BRCA1/2 genetic mutations), the fast breast MRI (10 minutes) is a supplemental screening for women with dense breast tissue who do not meet the lifetime breast cancer risk level for a full MRI study. The fast breast MRI takes about 10 minutes, requires an IV injection of macrocyclic MRI contrast and will be read by fellowship-trained breast imaging radiologists. Fast breast MRI is typically scheduled on day seven to 14 of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Fast breast MRI is not currently covered by insurance providers and is only available on a “self-pay” basis.
Although studies have demonstrated that fast breast MRI is effective in detecting invasive breast cancers, it is not designed to detect the spectrum of diseases that can be found by a full breast MRI exam. And, as with any screening exam, additional noncancerous lesions that could require biopsy or additional follow-up may also be detected by the fast breast MRI. Mammography is still recommended, and the fast breast MRI study is not meant to replace annual, routine mammograms.
- Fast breast MRI ordering is available in both the EMR and AEMR. Below is a complete list of updated and simpler MRI codes. Fast MRI is MR 815. Paper ordering is also an option; please specify Fast MRI, MR 815.
- MR 805 MRI Breast Bilateral with contrast full protocol
- MR 803 MRI Breast Bilateral without contrast for implant integrity
- MR 815 MRI Breast Bilateral with contrast fast Screening (SELF PAY)
- MR 810 MRI Vacuum Assisted Breast Biopsy
Fast breast MRI is available at:
- UH Ahuja Medical Center
- UH Cleveland Medical Center
- UH Geauga Medical Center
- UH Portage Medical Center
- UH St. John Medical Center
- UH Avon Health Center
- UH Westlake Health Center
If you have questions about breast cancer screenings including mammograms, screening ultrasound, fast breast MRI or full breast MRI exams, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Radiology scheduling line is another resource: 216-844-1700.