Primary Care Providers Underutilize Breast Screening MRI for High-Risk Women

Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) has shown high sensitivity for breast cancer (BC) detection in women at high risk for developing BC, and is recommended by the American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines. However, this study found only 12% of primary care physicians (PCPs) recommend MRI for women at high risk of developing breast cancer. This can be attributed to lacking knowledge of what constitutes as high risk, as defined by the ACS. Furthermore, PCPs infrequently use appropriate risk calculators to identify women’s BC risk. More than 70% of women have annual mammograms, providing the opportunity to perform breast cancer risk assessments. Early studies into the impact of risk assessment at time of mammography have reported increases in patient referral to MRI screening. In future, to increase support for PCPs and awareness of the ACS guidelines, grand round lectures and small group sessions between breast subspecialists and PCPs could be utilised to improve BC screening and diagnosis.

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