Dense Breast-MRI vs. Mammogram

DJC Member Posts: 52
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi All-I had my first 3 month checkup post chemotherapy this past week-my Oncologist scheduled a mammogram of my left breast(my last one was taken last May when I was diagnosed) and a bone scan (because I am experiencing intermittant pain in the small of my back). He said that my mammogram came back okay, but that due to the fact that this breast is very dense, he wants to do an MRI on my next visit in 3 months versus a mammogram. Should I be concerned? Is he possibly seeing changes? I try not too overthink these things, but it's hard to keep the internal voices at bay.

Thanks for any help on this issue you all can supply.



  • lindatn
    lindatn Member Posts: 229
    We all worry about any different test but it sounds to me like you just have a wise Dr as we know the MRI is better on dense tissue. Relax and don't over stress yourself the next three months. Linda
  • ksfc
    ksfc Member Posts: 251
    Hi Donna, MRIs can be very helpful for younger, denser breasts. I just had one in March because the after-affects of treatment left my breast unable to be mammogramed. It was no big deal, except that I'm a plus-size woman and originally my doctor sent me to a facility with a breast coil that made the tube 7 inches smaller - too tight for me. We discovered together that all breast coils are not the same and I had no problem with the second attempt. Good luck! Diane
  • BJayeCo
    BJayeCo Member Posts: 13
    Abnormalities in dense breast tissue does not ususally show up on mammograms. None of the lumps I've ever had, including my cancer, have showed up on mammos. I always have ultrasound done to double check and they show up there. MRI is supposed to be very good, and I would not worry, but be thankful that doctor is being so careful and thorough. Good luck. BJaye
  • Dear Donna:

    Do not be overly concerned. Be glad that your doctor is being very thorough. I'm 39, diagnosed in Oct. 2003 w/ bc. 1.2 cm. stage 1, grade 3 very aggressive. My surgeon has already told me that because of my age and that my breasts are very dense, the preferred method for follow up is MRI. It picks up abnormalities that a mammogram doesn't. It is more expensive that mammograms, and my insurance carrier [Blue Cross/Blue Shield] requires pre-approval prior to the MRI. But they always approve it because of the bc. Good luck!