Growing Use of MRIs May Be Leading to Unnecessary Cancer Surgeries Among Older Women

cda_displayimageA study by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine finds that frequent use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be resulting in unnecessary breast removal among many older women. The researchers examined data on more than 72,000 women ages 67-94 who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the 2000 to 2009 period. The researchers found a large increase in the use of MRIs during the period. Women who had an MRI were three times as likely as other patients to have a bilateral mastectomy and were more than three times as likely to have both breasts removed when cancer was found in only one breast.

Dr. Cary Gross, associate professor of internal medicine at Yale Medical School and a co-author of the study stated, “the long-term benefits associated with bilateral mastectomy for older women with breast cancer are unclear. Patient concern about recurrence and survival must be balanced with the increased risk for complications associated with more aggressive cancer surgery.”

The article was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment and may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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