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MRI before lumpectomy?


Re: MRI before lumpectomy?

Hello CeC

Thanks for posting.

There is a lot of information for people to take in when first diagnosed. Getting conflicting information can make understanding all of this difficult.

A breast MRI uses a different technique than a mammogram to produce an image and both have value in assessing breast tissue and any changes within it.

The criteria for offering a breast MRI may differ depending on someone's individual circumstances.

In breast screening, MRI scans can be offered to some women who have a significant family history of breast cancer or women with dense breasts.

In breast cancer, MRI scans of the breast may be considered to check the size of the area if the breast cancer measurements differ from clinical examination, and any tests that have been performed such as a mammogram or ultrasound scan. In some situations, this can help surgeons decide the best surgery to perform.

For individuals who have a type of breast cancer known as invasive lobular cancer, an MRI scan is commonly offered to assess the size of the tumour more accurately.

Breast-conserving surgery aims to remove breast cancer along with a border (margin) of normal, healthy breast tissue. The surgery will not always be as deep as the muscle. This will depend on the location of the cancer and how close to the muscle it is located.

It sounds as though it would be helpful to contact your breast care nurse and discuss your concerns so you can get clarification of the reason for the MRI in your situation.

We offer a range of free supportive services that you might be interested in.

Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can be helpful and our Someone Like Me service can arrange for one of our volunteers to talk to you by email or telephone. Our volunteers have had a personal experience of breast cancer and are trained to provide support.

You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0345 077 1893 or email them at someone.likeme@breastcancernow.org,so they can then match you to your volunteer. 

If you would like to talk this through or have any further questions, do call our Helpline. We often find we can help people more by speaking to them on the phone. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.

The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

If you would like a nurse to call you do complete this form. Ticking the box agreeing to a call back.

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

We will be closed on Monday 29 August due to the bank holiday.

Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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MRI before lumpectomy?


I am having a lumpectomy in September. One consultant has told me that I'll need an MRI to check the depth of the lump before surgery incase it's bigger than it looks (they can see 21mm on Ultrasound). A different consultant looked totally confused when I suggested this, and said that an MRI would make no difference as they always go down as deep as the muscle, apparently that is standard for a lumpectomy.

Are you able to advise on when an MRI might be used please, and whether it is indeed standard for the surgery always to be as deep as the muscle.