The sooner the better when it comes to finding breast cancer. Thanks to a new MRI machine in Cedar Falls, early detection is easier.
This new magnetic resonance imaging machine at Sartori Memorial Hospital in Cedar Falls is giving doctors another tool for breast cancer detection.
"Not only is breast MRI good for screening and detecting breast cancer, once it's been detected it's a very powerful tool for the surgeons to use as they create the therapy option for you and your diagnosis," said Dr. Tim Carmody, Medical Director of Imaging.
The faster, higher resolution process captures multiple images of the breast tissue--giving a more detailed picture than a mammogram, ultrasound or clinical exam can provide.
"We've come a long ways with mammography but MRI is the next step. It's not used as a screening tool, but for certain women it does help us find tumors that we couldn't find otherwise," said Dr. Robert Savereide, Covenant Clinic Surgeon.
But the breast MRI is not recommended for everyone.
"It's useful in patients who have had either dense breast tissue, a prior breast cancer that was not detected by mammogram, prior dose of radiation when they were a child, for example for Hodgkin's lymphoma and anybody who's had a risk assessment that determines that they're at a higher risk than the normal population for breast carcinoma," said Carmody.
"But again it's not a screening test. It's a specific test to help us look at tissue that's different to visualize otherwise," said Savereide.
Thanks to this machine, breast cancers are being uncovered faster which means getting patients on the road to recovery more quickly.
Breast MRI is meant to be used in addition to a mammogram or self exam--not as a replacement.