Some women may need more than a mammogram to detect breast cancer - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

Some women may need more than a mammogram to detect breast cancer

Some women may need more than a mammogram to detect breast cancer
By: Crystal Britt

CAPE GIRARDERAU, Mo. - When it comes to breast cancer screening, women may need more than just a mammogram. The American Cancer Society now recommends an MRI too.

It's for women with unusually high risks of developing the cancer, and those just recently diagnosed.  But, not everyone's offering it yet. Just to give you an idea: both hospitals in Cape Girardeau are not, but Lourdes in Paducah is. Western Baptist in Paducah as well as Memorial Hospital in Carbondale plan to soon.

So, you'll have to do some checking. But, before long, experts predict pretty much everyone will provide it. 

"Losing her hair and her breasts--we didn't have to see her get weak." Melinda Eaves lost her mother 15 years ago. She died in a car accident, not long after being diagnosed with breast cancer. That diagnosis is now a constant reminder to the young mother. She's 28 and hasn't had a mammogram yet, but plans to.

Another technique for breast cancer screening could soon become just as popular. The MRI is now recommended by the American Cancer Society. The research found: MRI scans of women who were diagnosed with cancer in one breast detected more than 90% of cancers in the other breast that was missed by mammography.

"It's safer for the patient, it's a lot more comfortable for the patient", said Rick Ross. Ross says his business, River City Imaging, isn't offering the service yet, but he has some of the right equipment for the test.

It requires a breast coil - something he's using right now to scan patients with problems with breast augmentation procedures. He says it would cost about $2 - 300,000 for the additional software he'd need to do the cancer screening - something he hopes to get. "Not only the accessibility, but because both breast can be done at the same time, there's no radiation invasion", said Ross.

For mom's like Melinda, it adds more peace of mind. "I think it's an excellent idea, I really do, I would hope it'd be covered by insurance", said Melinda Eaves. That's one of the number one questions. Rick Ross says an MRI typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000. Right now, your insurance probably wouldn't cover it, but many doctors say, with this recent recommendation, insurance companies will probably allow it over time.

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