Breast cancer surveillance

Eleonora Rachetta, Silvia Osano, Francesco Astegiano, Laura Martincich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Since several studies have demonstrated the inadequate diagnostic performance of mammography in high risk women, over the past two decades, different breast imaging tests have been evaluated as additional diagnostic methods to mammography, and the most relevant ones are the techniques that do not imply the use of X-rays, considering the young age of these patients and the higher radio-sensitivity. Breast dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) has risen growing interest not only because of the absence of use of X-rays, but also because it provides morpho-functional features, which may depict biological characteristics of breast tissues, including invasive and in situ cancers. Different multicenter non-randomized prospective studies aimed to evaluate breast DCE-MRI as an integral part of surveillance programs, agreed about the evidence that in high risk women screening with DCE-MRI is more effective than either mammography and/or ultrasound. Moreover, this modality leads to the identifications of cancers at a more favorable stage, allowing a real advantage in terms of tumor size and nodal involvement. The medical community is evaluating to suggest DCE-MRI alone as screening modality in high-risk women, as it was reported that in these cases the sensitivity of MRI plus conventional imaging was not significantly higher than that of MRI alone. Breast MRI is now recommended as part of screening program for high risk women by both European and American guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-516
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Ginecologica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Early detection of cancer
  • Genetics
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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