Initially I was not offered a breast MRI as I was lactating. The doctors felt that I would likely light up everywhere and the test would not be helpful. It was not until after weaning and chemotherapy when I experienced my first breast MRI.
As I was trying to gather as much information as possible regarding my decision to have radiation treatments or a mastectomy, I felt a breast MRI might aid in my decision making process.
I had never had any kind of MRI, but
had heard about the small confines of the tube. It's pretty small. For the breast
MRI, one lays face down on a flat surface with cutouts for the breasts. After
some time, it becomes rather uncomfortable. The head is either to the side or
looking down on a cutout. I did head to the side with pillows. Arms are above
the head, but hands cannot touch; a paper towel was laid between them. The room
is very cold for the machine so lots of blankets are available too. Earplugs
are highly recommended because the machine is so loud, clanking, alarm like
sounds, banging. The tech and nurse are in another room accessible by intercom
and a special button. When the machine is going, there's no communicating
really - it's much too loud. There were series of imaging, five I think. Each
one was a few minutes to seven minutes. It's very important to stay still all
the time, even between imagining as not to get out of position. After the first
two sets the nurse came in and injected contrast dye into my IV for the next
sets. At the end they had me wait one more minute to make sure everything
looked ok. By that time my neck and back were aching. Finally I got the ok to
wiggle and promptly banged my head, elbows and back on the tube forgetting how
small it really is. The whole thing is supposed to take about 30 minutes.
the results of the MRI the same day in the evening. The left breast looks great
and there is one 6mm area of potential concern on the right. It’s hard to know
what it is so the Dr recommends an MRI guided biopsy with contrast. This area is likely scar tissue due to my past surgery. If I go ahead with a mastectomy, I don't see any reason to have a biopsy. If I will pursue radiation therapy, I would need to address this area of potential concern first.