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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Jan;22(1):159-66. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0967. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Breast MRI use uncommon among U.S. women.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy., NE, Mailstop K-57, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



The goal of breast cancer screening is to reduce breast cancer mortality. Mammography is the standard screening method for detecting breast cancer early. Breast MRI is recommended to be used in conjunction with mammography for screening subsets of women at high risk for breast cancer. We offer the first study to provide national estimates of breast MRI use among women in the United States.


We analyzed data from women who responded to questions about having a breast MRI on the 2010 National Health Interview Survey. We assessed report of having a breast MRI and reasons for it by sociodemographic characteristics and access to health care and computed five-year and lifetime breast cancer risk using the Gail model.


Among 11,222 women who responded, almost 5% reported ever having a breast MRI and 2% reported having an MRI within the 2 years preceding the survey. Less than half of the women who reported having a breast MRI were at increased risk. Approximately 60% of women reported having the breast MRI for diagnostic reasons. Women who ever had a breast MRI were more likely to be older, Black, and insured and to report a usual source of health care as compared with women who reported no MRI.


Breast MRI use may be underused or overused in certain subgroups of women.


As access to health care improves, the use of breast MRI and the appropriateness of its use for breast cancer detection will be important to monitor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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