High Risk Breast Cancer

  • Strong family history of breast cancer

  • Not having children before age 30

  • Dense breast tissue (seen on mammogram)

  • Previous biopsy showed atypical cells

  • Ashkenazi Jewish heritage

  • Obesity/Hormone Relacement/starting menstruation younger than 12.

  • A combination of the above factors or a very strong family history will increase a woman's chance of developing breast cancer during her lifetime. A woman with a lifetime risk of 20% or more should have an annual breast MRI scan.


  • BRCA 1 and 2 mutation carriers

  • Radiation of the chest for cancer as a child/teenager

  • Certain other genetic conditions

  • All of these women should have annual MRI scans of the breasts

    MRI is between 95 and 100% sensitive for picking up breast cancers
    MRI picks up smaller, more subtle cancers earlier than any other test.
    Unlike mammography, MRI is not limited by dense breast tissue
    An MRI scan does not produce radiation
    Medical Aids will usually cover the procedure if the motivation is valid