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UF Health Imaging Center – Wildlight
is now offering abbreviated breast MRI, a state-of-the-art supplemental
and effective screening for the early detection of breast cancer in women with dense breasts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an abbreviated breast MRI?
Abbreviated breast MRI is a shortened version of a complete breast MRI that screens for breast abnormalities,
including cancers, not seen on a mammogram. Contrast dye is administered through an IV, allowing our
breast imaging specialists to detect abnormalities more clearly. The procedure takes 20 minutes to complete,
with no radiation exposure or compression of the breasts.
What are dense breasts?
Breasts are made up of fatty, fibrous and glandular tissues. There is a greater amount of glandular tissues
than fat in dense breasts, making it more difficult to detect a small cancer. Although dense breasts
and abnormal tissues may appear similar, normal tissue may cover abnormal or cancerous tissues.
While having dense breast tissue is normal and may become less dense as a woman ages, the risk for breast cancer
is up to four times greater in those with dense tissue compared with women who have fatty breasts.
How do I know if I have dense breasts?
Breast density is determined by the breast imaging specialist who reads your mammogram. You will receive a letter
with information on breast density. Your health care provider may also discuss screening results with
Who should get an abbreviated MRI?
AB-MRI is ideal for women with dense breast tissue, especially those without additional risk factors for breast
cancer. Your health care provider may refer you for the screening.
Is a mammogram enough?
AB-MRI is not limited by dense breast tissue and can detect cancers that 3D mammograms may miss. The screening
helps identify breast cancer while it is still tiny and curable.
When is it not the right choice?
A complete breast MRI is also recommended for women with personal histories of breast cancer. AB-MRI is not
recommended for women at high risk for breast cancer due to BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.
Will insurance cover the screening?
AB-MRI is currently offered as a self-pay service, although expenses may be covered by flexible spending and
health savings accounts.