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Invited Critique
Sep 2012

Preoperative Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Solution Looking for a ProblemComment on “Selective Preoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Women With Breast Cancer”A Solution Looking for a Problem

Arch Surg. 2012;147(9):839-840. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2012.1679

Because breast magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has repeatedly been shown to detect occult cancer in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer, the modality has increasingly been used in the initial evaluation of patients with the disease. Breast MR imaging theoretically provides improved ability to localize disease and avoid reexcision or, worse yet, leave occult cancer behind when attempting breast conservation. Magnetic resonance imaging is believed to be especially helpful for women with dense breast tissue, among whom conventional imaging carries the requisite radiologist's disclaimer that “not all cancers will be detected by imaging.” For these reasons and despite its high cost, the use of breast MR imaging has become almost routine in the evaluation of patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer.

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