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Black and Asian women at high risk for breast cancer much less likely to get recommended MRI screenings

Breast MRIs find more cancer in high-risk women than mammography or ultrasound, so the American College of Radiology recommends that women at higher risk for breast cancer undergo annual breast MRIs. But a new study of 2,431 women at three breast imaging centers found that less than 20 percent of high-risk women got the MRIs, according to Dayna Levin, MD (above), of the University of Pennsylvania.

She and her colleagues also found that Black women were 70 percent less likely to get a supplemental breast MRI than White women and Asian women 88 percent less likely.

“In high-risk patients, combined mammography and MRI screening leads to higher cancer detection and better overall survival,” Levin said. Barriers to MRI screening could be time constraints with primary care providers and lack of familiarity with risk-assessment tools; patients’ lack of insurance, or out-of-pocket costs; and anxiety about undergoing MRI, noted Levin.

The results of the study were presented at a 2021 scientific conference.

See “Are women at higher breast cancer risk getting supplemental MRI?” by Kate Madden Yee on the website (January 3, 2021) Note: This website is for radiologists and related professionals in the medical imaging industry.

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