Breast MRI

Hi there, Has anyone else had Breast MRIs since being diagnosed with DCIS? I’ve had my 2nd opinion today -FINALLY- at Bart’s and Mr Carpenter recommended an MRI to make sure it is only DCIS and not Invasive Disease and also to see whether there is any DCIS in the other breast too. If there is it will mean bilateral mastectomies, if not just the one. But then I suppose if there’s any evidence of invasive disease that will shed a different light on things too. Interestingly, he also said that DCIS IS Breast Cancer when my Consultant at the Royal Marsden refers to it as pre-cancerous cells.

I have DCIS and no, I didn’t have an MRI but I would jump at the chance if I was offered one. Seems like they are being very thorough. As you say, a double mastectomy is not a nice thought, but if you have DCIS in both breasts, much better doing it now than waiting. Its funny how DCIS is regarded by different people. The more I read about it, I am inclined to think of it as cancer - early cancer, but cancer nonetheless. It still is dangerous. My hospital seem to be too relaxed about it all which makes me a bit concerned. So confusing

It really is sooo confusing! I was told I had microcalcifications but was given a leaflet on DCIS, biopsy showed low to intermediate grade, I’ve had WLE and get my pathology results next Tuesday. The more I read, the more confused I get, some information says pre-cancerous, some says early cancer. I’m thinking of taking part in the research being carried out by Suman Prinjha (another topic on the DCIS forum) and have been on the Dipex website which has videos of real people talking about their experiences of DCIS and am still confused. I’ve read that DCIS sometimes doesn’t become full blown cancer but there is no way of telling so treatment is always surgery.

I had MRI after DCIS diagnosis to confirm the size of it and check the other breast. However, it didn’t pick up on the invasive cancer lurking there.

DCIS is confined within the ducts and hasn’t developed the ability to spread out of them yet, so at this point it is contained and not posing the same threat as invasive cancer which can start spreading via lymph or blood stream into other organs outside the breast. So some consultants call it either non-invasive cancer or a pre-cancer because it is Stage 0 which is the earliest stage of cellular change. I thought Dr Susan Love explained it quite well in her book. There’s also her website which you might find useful (not sure if it’s as in depth).

My Sister had DCIS at about the same age as me but hers had already developed into Invasive Cancer so I guess they feel they have to be ultra-careful with me. Something Mr Carpenter said that confused me and my husband was that if I had another WLE followed by Radiotherapy and then went on to develop Invasive Cancer that it would be more difficult to treat. Perhaps because I’ve had DVT in the past so he wouldn’t recommend Tamoxifen.

My oncologist said something similar to me when discussing the pros and cons of radiotherapy. Apparently, surgery is more difficult after radiotherapy because it messes up the breast tissue so if there is a possibility of a recurrence or invasive cancer because of your family history, I guess he is saying it is perhaps better in your case for mastectomy to be on the safe side as if you had a wle and radiotherapy a mastectomy further down the line would be more difficult in terms of clean removal??

When I was first diagnosed with DCIS last September I was offered a MRI scan as some of the biopsies were benign and some showed cancerous cells. My consultant recommended the MRI to establish how much of the duct was affected and to establish if I needed a mastectomy or WLE.

My consultant also told me that DCIS is contained, non malignant and non evasive he also kept saying that it was a pre cancerous condition. I was confused at the result as one minute he was are saying that the biopsy showed cancerous cells and I may need a mastectomy then he was saying that it is a pre cancerous condition. I did ask him was he therefore saying that I had cancer in the milk ducts and he said yes that basically what it was he said it is not full blown breast cancer as it hasn’t developed into a tumour and is non evasive. However, if left it could develop into full blown breast cancer

Also my well woman policy would not pay out as it was a non evasive cancer but at the end of the day I agree that it is a type of cancer.

The results of my MRI showed that it hadn’t spread and I had a WLE that went really well in November and no follow up treatment except for annual mammograms.

Good luck with your treatment

Mine was class as high grade DCIS and I had a mastectomy in June last year. Clear lymph nodes.

My oncol said it was non invasive but my BC nurse kept saying it was cancer but contained in the milk ducts.

It is confusing when you are told so many different things. I have never been offered an MRI scan, in fact, I won’t be having a mammogram on my remaining breast until next year. The reason they tell me is…nothing will show from my last scan - last year - that it takes 3 years for any form of cancer or abnormalities to develop.

I just wish they would keep a check on me each year for at least three years after the first dx.

I feel, as a matter of routine, we should have MRI scans, bone scan and anything else that will put our minds a rest. They seem to be so nonchalant about DCIS.


Hi LindaH, I’ve been having mammograms every 6 months. In July last year mine was clear and then in January of this year it showed abnormalities which were found to be DCIS so that developed in less than 3 years!! I had a WLE to remove LCIS only 2 years previously.


It really is good to read all your opinions and experiences, I go for my results following WLE on Tuesday and because of you I am going armed with loads more knowledge on the subject - thank you. I really do not want to come out of there still confused!