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6:31 AM Sat, Dec. 15th

KRMC uses MRIs in the fight against breast cancer

KINGMAN - Kingman Regional Medical Center has installed special equipment that enables magnetic resonance imaging of the breast on it's state-of-the-art 3T MRI, the most advanced MRI system in the region. A breast MRI can help physicians detect tumors in certain women with a high-risk of breast cancer.

The ability to perform breast MRI complements KRMC's new Catch It Early initiative. KRMC's goal is to detect breast cancer as early as possible, when it is easier to treat and the chance of survival is greatest.

MRI imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of internal body structures. It does not use ionizing radiation, more commonly referred to as x-rays. Breast MRI uses special equipment that includes a coil that sends and receives radio signals to produce three-dimensional images of the breast. The scan is done with the woman on her stomach on a special table with openings that let the breasts rest in wells surrounded by the coil.

MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging. It is a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities in high-risk women. According to new guidelines by the American Cancer Society, "Certain women with an especially high risk of developing breast cancer should get MRI scans along with their yearly mammogram. The two tests give doctors a better chance of finding breast cancer early in these women."

KRMC's Catch It Early program provides uninsured/underinsured women free breast cancer screening. Advanced imaging technologies include digital mammography and MRI, which can improve the chances of detecting early-stage breast cancers. With this program, KRMC hopes to provide free breast cancer screening services to more than 450 women over the next year.

For more information, contact the Well Woman Healthcheck Program toll-free at (866) 462-6667.