Some Oregon women who have breast cancer and who are planning to get lumpectomies will undergo breast MRIs as a part of pre- and post-operative planning. The breast MRIs are used in order to help the surgeons see where the tumor is located, its size and whether there are additional cancerous tumors in the breast. After surgery, a breast MRI may be used to check that all of the tumors have been removed successfully.
A small-scale study that was published in June in a peer-reivewed journal points to the idea that face-up breast MRIs may provide surgeons with better information than those that are performed in a face-down position. Many of these MRIs are performed while women are lying face down. According to the researchers, this is problematic because the face-down position causes deformities in the scan in terms of size, shape and location of the tumor.
The researchers said that using both face-up and face-down scans may give more accurate information. This is especially important following surgery to see if any tumor remnants remain. According to the researchers, up to 40 percent of women who undergo lumpectomies will need surgery to remove remnant tumors.
When a negligent physician fails to read scans or tests accurately, the patient's medical condition could significantly worsen. Such a mistake could cause a disease to spread as a result of delayed treatment. A patient who has been the victim of such an error may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to see if a lawsuit seeking compensation from the at-fault practitioner would be an advisable course to take.