Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women.
The most common form of screening for breast cancer is mammography (an x-ray of the breast), which can detect breast cancer early, before clinical symptoms appear. However, mammography alone may miss breast cancer in some women. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an imaging tool that uses magnetic fields and radio waves, may be able to detect breast cancers missed by mammography.
Screening with both mammography and MRI is currently recommended for women at high risk for breast cancer.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews Magnetic Resonance Imaging as an Adjunct to Mammography for Breast Cancer Screening in Women at Less Than High Risk for Breast Cancer
Although adding MRI screening to mammography may detect more cancers, it may also increase the frequency of false-positive test results (test results that show a woman has breast cancer when she does not). False-positive test results can lead to anxiety and unnecessary follow-up testing.
The Health Quality Ontario review looked at the impact of MRI as an adjunct test to mammography for breast cancer screening in women at less than high risk for breast cancer.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: Health Quality Ontario’s recommendation aligns with the current standard of care delivered and funded through Cancer Care Ontario’s Ontario Breast Screening Program.