Recommendation ID
Benefits of MRI surveillance in women over 50 years:- Research is recommended to establish the risk and benefits of MRI surveillance compared with mammography in women over 50 years with a personal history of breast cancer. Studies should include sub-analysis for breast density. [new 2013]
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- There have been at least 6 large trials of MRI surveillance in women at high risk of breast cancer. However, none of these contained enough women to assess the potential benefit of MRI over mammography alone in women over 50 years. After 50 years of age, mammography becomes more sensitive and the trade-off between sensitivity and specificity may make MRI less cost effective. Although breast density decreases with age, and particularly after the menopause, there is no sudden change at any particular age. For this reason breast density should be included as a confounding variable.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Familial breast cancer: classification, care and managing breast cancer and related risks in people with a family history of breast cancer
Date issued
June 2013

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 12/07/2013