? Mammogram or MRI

I had mammograms for three years which did not show my BC. Ultrasound readings finally showed a change and a biopsy was done which showed the cancer but only one near the surface. After mastectomy histo/pathology found another deeper cancer. I am coming up to mammogram on the other breast but I am sure you will understand that I do not trust this method. Has anyone had MRI to detect changes? When I asked about this at the hospital I was told that not many people can read MRI’s of the breast successfully.

Hi Emmbee,
I was diagnosed with ductal cancer in May. I found a lump and was sent to a one stop clinic to see a consultant, have a mamogram etc. At 51 I had not yet had my first mamogram. I had surgery in June to remove the lump but a clear margin was not obtained. I then went back again in July and August. In August they then found I had lobular cancer which hadn’t shown on the mamogram. I was immediatly booked in for a mastectomy and an MRI scan on the other breast to see if it was there too. As lobular cancer doesn’t appear to show on a mamogram very well it is possible I shall have to have MRI scans in the future rather than mamograms.
Don’t know if this will help?
Take care,

Hi Jane,

Thanks for the info. It’s obvious that someone in your area can read MRI’s. I shall stick to my guns and ask for MRI and suggest they send the scan to someone who can read it.


hi, not sure if this will help or not… i’m 33 and had a palpable lump that under investigation did not show up on mammogram. i was told that my breasts would need to be monitored by MRI as this is much better at detecting lumps in younger ie more ‘dense’ breast tissue.

Hi Redcell,

Thanks for that. Is is another bullet for my gun as I was told that I had dense breasts, despite being more than twice your age.

Good to have so much help from this forum.


Hi ladies,

I’m on here at 3am, can’t sleep due to worrying about cysts and thickening in my remaining breast. I’ve had an ultrasound scan and biopsy of one of the cysts,which came back as benign,and they’ve asked me to go back in December for another scan.( can I wait that long!!) However, like you my previous cancer wasn’t detected by mammo or US, and I’m just getting SO anxious about cancer starting in my other breast. I’ve asked if I could have an MRI scan, but was told it’s ‘not in the guidelines’. Even for those with dense tissue like us.
I’m wondering whether to ask about paying myself to have one done. I can’t go on with this level of anxiety. If there’s anything there, i want it found earlier than my previous tumour. Want to avoid chemo as I found that very difficult at times.
I’v found, so far, that the consultants seem reluctant to give much information. They are making me feel that I’m just neurotic. They have no idea about the constant anxiety!
Gently going mad :frowning:

Anna G

Hi Anna. Seems to me you are more than eligible for an MRI. Their ‘protocol’ obviously isn’t flexible enough - not unusual, unfortunately. Of course you can have a private scan, but I really don’t see why you should have to. However if they really won’t budge I’d do that, if only for peace of mind - and tell them they’re leaving you with no choice as you’re taking responsibility for your own well-being even if they won’t!

Anna, emmbee, all

Do NOT allow hospitals or their staff to play fast and loose with your lives.

I was refused breast screening, had a strong family history, and was diagnosed 5 months later and NOT by mammogram either. They are NOT more than 80% effective at best and if you have a genetic mutation, young, dense, or glandular breasts then they will be less than 80% effective, in fact if you have a genetic mutation as little as 25% effective because of changes in the tissues.

If you are not happy to have mammography (and why bother with it if it didn’t detect your cancer?) then insist on ultra sound or MRI and if one hospital cannot offer MRI then others can and you can ask to be referred and ask for a second opinion - YOU ARE ENTITLED!!!

Yes, the needle IS stuck …

Hi all,

Today I saw my Consultant and discussed Mammography. She agreed that I should be concerned that the mammogram did not show my cancer 3 years running. She explained that ductal cancers are very difficult to find but mammogram does show all other types. Ultrasound is only used to look at suspicious areas, ie; a lump not showing on mammogram or an area of thickening etc. I asked if, under the circumstances I could have MRI. She said that she personally did not make decisions on that but she would be happy to ask the specialists if they would do it. Apparently my hospital is a centre of excellence on MRI but, breast MRI’s are very difficult to read and often throw up false positives. This means that people are going through unnecessary biopsies etc which cause trauma whilst awaiting results. She also said that I should have a mammogram on my remaining breast, as the chances of the same cancer recurring is minimal and I should cover all the options.


Hi all
I had an MRI in August, after 2 previous excisions to take out DCIS tissue. I did some research and found that this system was the most likely to show up DCIS. However… in addition to showing false postives it seems there are also false negatives. I was told the radiology report showed no residual DCIS but a further excision & histology report revealed extensive diseased tissue and I now need a mastectomy. Not sure if it was due to the skill of the radiologist in reading the image (breast MRI only recently installed in my area) but I suspect tissue they viewed as scar tissue was not in fact. I just think screening is not an exact science but is getting there so have all the tests you can. I have been lucky in having a very skilled (well maybe not the radiologist) team who have informed me & advised all the way.