Risk, Prevention, and Screening (MC Liu, Section Editor)

Current Breast Cancer Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 216-223

First online:

Role of Mammography versus Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Breast Cancer Screening

  • Linei UrbanAffiliated withClínica de Diagnóstico por Imagem (DAPI)The National Commission of Mammography, Brazilian College of Radiology Email author 
  • , Cícero UrbanAffiliated withDivision of Oncoplastic Surgery, Breast Unit, Hospital Nossa Senhora das GraçasMethodology of Science and Bioethics, Positivo University

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Mammographic screening has been proven to detect breast cancer at an early stage and to reduce mortality from breast cancer. Nevertheless, some limitations concerning sensitivity, as well as adverse effects such as false negatives and radiosensitivity, has led to a need to search for other screening techniques. Magnetic resonance imaging has been an excellent choice for some specific subgroups, including patients at high risk. However, high cost, low availability, and lack of long-term trials aiming to prove the reduction of mortality have limited magnetic resonance application. Moreover, some points about breast cancer screening still need to be clarified, including overdiagnosis rate, which includes cancers that would not have become clinically significant during the woman’s lifetime, and cost effectiveness. In this review, the authors analyze the role of mammography and magnetic resonance imaging in breast cancer screening for the general and high-risk populations.


Breast Screening Prevention Breast cancer Recommendations Mammography Breast ultrasound Breast MRI High risk Breast neoplasms Mass screening Sensitivity and specificity BRCA1 protein BRCA2 protein Cost effectiveness