Breast MRI Screening

If a woman's lifetime risk for breast cancer is 20% or greater, an annual breast MRI may be an option for her.

Breast MRI is another way to screen for breast cancer and it is recommended by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for certain women depending on their individual risk factors. According to these standard guidelines, annual breast MRI screening is recommended as an adjunct to mammography in the following situations:

  • Patient has a hereditary breast cancer syndrome, such as hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (caused by mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes), Li-Fraumeni or Cowden syndrome. Learn more about hereditary breast cancer, OR
  • Patient has a first-degree relative with a BRCA1/2 gene mutation but has not been tested, OR
  • Patient has had high-dose radiation treatment to the chest between ages 10 and 30 (most often mantle cell radiation for treatment of lymphoma), OR
  • Patient’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is estimated to be 20% or greater. This is determined by various breast cancer risk assessment models. Learn more about breast cancer risk assessment.

It is important to note that breast MRI is not a substitute for mammography. All women of screening age should continue with annual mammograms. A patient may choose to have breast MRI at the same time as a mammogram or she may alternate mammogram and MRI every six months. The patient and her referring physician(s) can determine the schedule that is best. According to the ACS, there is no evidence to support one approach over the other. Studies have shown that, in certain women, using both mammography and breast MRI screening is more effective in early detection of breast cancer when compared to mammography alone.

Requesting a Breast MRI Screening

If a patient is interested in breast MRI screening at Invision Sally Jobe, it is important that she returns to her referring doctor(s) to review this information with him or her. Like all procedures, breast MRI will require an order from a referring physician(s). After the order is faxed to us, a member of our staff will contact the patient to schedule the procedure. Prior to the appointment, we will work with the patient’s referring doctor(s) and insurance company to ensure that the breast MRI is pre-authorized.

Learn More

For more information on this topic, patients can contact our genetic counselor at 720-493-3229 or via email at

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